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Some Bay Area rideshare users could see fewer pickups with rising gas prices. Here's why

Bay Area rideshare drivers talk about how higher gas prices could affect passengers
Bay Area rideshare drivers talk about how higher gas prices could affect passengers 03:48

Gas prices are continuing to go up in California, and it's affecting not only commuters but rideshare drivers and passengers.

According to AAA, the average price in the state is $5.79. In Oakland, it's $5.60, in San Francisco, it's $5.67 and in San Jose, it's $5.56. 

But some gas stations have even higher prices. One 76 gas station near the San Jose Mineta International Airport was more than $6.20. It's hitting residents, especially those who use their cars for work, like Uber and Lyft drivers.

"Right now, I have this ride but I'm not going to take it. It's to Santa Cruz," said Mohamed, who has been working for Uber for eight years. 

He is being more selective with which rides he decides to take on. While he was waiting at the San Jose Mineta International Airport, he got a notification for a ride to Santa Cruz. 

It would have been $33 for a 32-mile trip. But once he makes it to Santa Cruz, there's no guarantee he will pick up a ride back to San Jose. 

"Coming back empty, you're not going to make money," Mohamed said. 

That's the reality for many rideshare drivers in the Bay Area right now. They're having to pay more for gas and in turn working more hours a day to make up for it.

"Gas right now is ridiculous, not good," said Han, who has been working for Uber for five years. 

He said they're making about $300 a day, but $90 of that is going toward gas. So, he's more strategic about his rides. 

He said he took a ride from San Francisco to San Jose. It was a 37-mile trip for $32. But he did it because San Jose is near his home.

"Easy to pick up my kids from school," Han said. 

And then there are also commuters who drive far to get to work like Manuel Reyes who drives to San Jose from Martinez. 

"I got to commute all the way from Martinez. With traffic, it's a two-hour drive. I got to fill up about three times a week," Reyes said.

But Reyes said the job he has now is the highest-paid one he can find. The recent increases at the pump in part are being caused by high oil prices.

That's stemming from "oil supply cuts in Saudi Arabia and Russia, plus concerns over disruptions to oil exports from Libya following deadly flooding in that OPEC nation," Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager, told KCAL.

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