‘This is our livelihood’: Reno Uber drivers join call for better pay

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 11:30 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Hundreds of Uber drivers protested Wednesday at the Uber Hub in Las Vegas, demanding better pay. This after a disappointing weekend in wages despite the heavy traffic from the Beyonce concert.

Such disappointment is also felt in the northern part of the state. Where as thousands crowd the airport for Burning Man, hundreds arrive in Victorian Square for the Rib Cook-Off.

Sounds like the perfect storm for local Uber drivers, but the emergency declaration signed by governor Lombardo on August 20th is standing in the way of their profits.

“This is our livelihood and it’s greatly affecting us,” said an Uber driver who wanted to remain anonymous.

Like her, drivers who spoke with KOLO8 News Now say, they’re being impacted by the lack of surge pricing. According to Uber, this means that when demand is high, prices go up for riders and drivers.

“For instance, with a concert that comes into town and once it lets out, you could see a $20 to $40 dollar surge on the driver side of it,” said a driver.

However, Nevada’s rideshare regulations requires a transportation network company to not raise rates during a state of emergency. In an email, a representative with Uber said, “[the company] is required to adhere to those regulations for the duration of the order.

“When the demand is high, the drivers deserve to make more,” said driver. “Because we’re running a little ragged from ride to ride to ride, and when you don’t offer that then we’re left by the waste side and we don’t feel that we need to be out here.”

“It has all been changing and making me think of getting another job,” said a driver in Spanish. “Because we can’t survive with all of the expenses.”

For most of the drivers, not getting extra pay is just part of a bigger problem.

“We used to get paid 75 percent but now they grab 66 percent, sometimes, and it’s not fair that for what we do, we’re getting paid less,” said a driver.

Aside from percentages, increasing gas prices and decreasing bonuses add on to the problem.

We reached out to the governor’s office and they provided a statement saying:

“Recovery for the residents of Mt. Charleston remains Governor Lombardo’s top priority. Our office will update the emergency declaration once it is appropriate to do so.”

“The reason behind it, I get it. The hurricane but that’s been, what? About a week and a half now. So, it needs to be dropped the drivers need to start getting compensated again.”

The emergency declaration is still in place. In the meantime, these drivers are forced to skip or cancel trips, resulting in longer wait times for riders.