Rising Gas Prices Impact Rideshare Drivers and Business Owners

Price increases have led a part-time carpool and delivery driver to put her job on hold.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The average cost of gas in Michigan is currently $4.26, and people who drive for a living say rising gas prices are hurting them at work.

“Without (the delivery drivers), I don’t have a business, and we can’t get food to customers,” said Andrew Bogart, owner of Five Star Food Express.

The cost of shortages of pizza and other deliveries is getting more expensive, and Bogart has made changes to his business plan to relieve his delivery drivers as gas prices continue to rise.

“We’re doing a fuel surcharge that goes 100% to the driver, and we’ve increased their base salary which is already $1,” he says. “It’s basically out of pocket the first time, but then it’s refunded. But I mean, these guys work, you know, for tips.”

“All the things I need to run my business, cooking oil and hot dogs and yadda yadda, they’ve all gone up in price dramatically over the last year,” said Matthew Morton, lead operator. by Pronto Pups.

Morton says some of the activity is up as well, but they’re not raising prices there at the moment.

“Of course, I use a generator to run my truck, so gas prices directly affect my business,” he says.

“I think everyone has seen the effects felt from high gas prices,” says Brady Gort.

Gort is a corporate truck driver who makes regular trips from Battle Creek, Michigan to Kansas City, Missouri. He may not pay for the gas for his tractor-trailer out of pocket, but he knows that when his company pays more for gas, the manufacturer won’t just absorb that cost.

“Then the manufacturer passes the baton to the people. So, you know, I think that’s one thing I’ve noticed, why a lot of the grocery store prices are so expensive,” he says.

And rising petrol prices led Katherine Skeens, a part-time carpool and delivery driver, to put her job on hold.

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“We’re struggling to get by. And it’s frustrating,” she says. “In three or four hours, if I make $80, I put in $20. Okay, I made $60 profit. But now, if I put in $20, I get nothing from the mileage that I can get.”

She says it is not worth it at the moment.

“We’re trying to save money to buy a house. And that really makes it harder,” Skeens said.

Five Star Food Express assesses current gasoline prices twice a week at this time to base their fuel surcharge on. And Skeens hopes to get back behind the wheel soon once gas prices drop.

They both emphasize the need to tip your drivers well.

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