Local driver reacts to ride-share shortage
High demand for rides, but very few employees
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A nationwide driver shortage is making rideshare less accessible. With the return of events in Northern Nevada, rideshare companies have raised their incentives to bring in more drivers.
These drivers have also been considered frontline workers during this health crisis. Ron blazer has been helping people get from point A to point B for more than 5 years. Blazer said he has been placing his life at risk by doing this job, but in these challenging times, the odds have been in his favor.
“This was just gravy having all these drivers sitting home and I made more,” Blazer said.
He said during this driver shortage, he has made more than 50% in revenue than what he made before the pandemic. He added that unemployment benefits are a reason why many drivers don’t want to return.
“They were making $1,000 a week, now they are making $700 with no mileage, no gas, no tires, no oil changes, they are happy,” explained Blazer.
With fewer drivers to compete against, Blazer said that more customers and trips result in a lot more money, but these drivers are not compensated based on what customers pay. They are paid for time and distance.
“There is more demand than there are drivers so the prices surge like my phone shows,” Blazer said.
Rideshare passengers have been paying higher fares, but that is not the only increase Blazer has seen. He said Wait times have also skyrocketed.
“I got complaints from customers saying I used to get an UBER in 3 minutes now they’re waiting 20 minutes,” explained Blazer.
Right before the COVID-19 outbreak, the ride-share lot located on Vassar St. was filled with more than 40 cars as they waited for customers from the airport to request a ride.
“You had to know where to go, where to be, when to be there, when the best time was to get rides, now you just have to turn your phone on,” Blazer said.
Blazer believes prices will stay high until September when unemployment benefits are no longer available.
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