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Surging gas prices squeezing rideshare and food delivery drivers

Many people have turned to side gigs to make extra money during inflation
Many people have turned to side gigs to make extra money during inflation 01:53

DORAL – Gas prices still seem to be going up. That has many asking when they might come down again, especially those who work in rideshare and food delivery. 

CBS4 met a couple of drivers on a trip to and back from the Miami airport from the WFOR-TV studios in Doral.

The first driver was Alejandro Tapia.

"I export disposable medical devices," he explained. 

Rideshare driving is a side hustle. But Tapia told CBS4 the pandemic drove income down, so he started to rely more on driving. 

"If it's not cost effective for me, I'll just stop doing Uber," he explained.

For Tapia, the price of gas has already exceeded what he wants to spend, so he looked into a program to drive a Tesla. 

"I was going to rent it," he said.

Since it's a flexible side hustle, Tapia is willing to try it out, but the frustration is there.

"I work, I pay taxes, I just want the government to do what is necessary for the economy to keep going because I believe we're going to a hyperinflation and maybe a depression," Tapia said.

The conversation had to end there as the ride ended.

On the way back, we met Qingsong Wong. Driving, for now, is his main source of income. 

"It's full time for me," he said. 

Two years ago, he was a truck driver based out of New York. 

"I crossed country in one week," he said.

The long hours on the road and time away from family turned him to rideshare services. Now gas prices have him questioning if this will work out.  With gas hitting $5 a gallon, CBS4 asked if it may not be worth it in the near future. 

"I'm not really sure," he replied. "I start around 10 and I will be finished around 9."

What may help is that he drives a hybrid van. He can drive almost two days without filling up – though fuel costs were already high before he switched to the hybrid. 

"Before, one day, almost $70."

Even with fuel surcharges to riders, it's not making much of a dent on the skyrocketing gas prices.

"For now, we have to drive more hours before," Wong explained. 

That's what he had hoped to avoid when he changed from being a truck driver. So, like many, he hopes gas prices will come back down.  

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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