Uber drivers impacted by rising gas prices

Uber drivers impacted by rising gas prices

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Across the country, the price of gasoline has jumped an average of 12 cents in 14 days. That's according to AAA, which also reports the national average is the highest it has been in four years. People who make money behind the wheel said they are putting their cars in park until the price of gasoline d rops.

When ride sharing-service, Uber, rolled into Baton Rouge four years ago, Asheba Brown said she got on board to make some extra income. Brown said before she logs in to pick up her first passenger, she typically fills up her gas tank.

"I look to see which gas station has the it the cheapest," Brown said.

Brown said during football season, she spends a lot of time driving around the city. "I may fill it up once or twice. It depends on how long I choose to drive," Brown said.

But these days, Brown said her fuel purchases are for personal use only. She said the price of gasoline has gotten so high, she's losing money driving for Uber.

"It hurts my pockets because, in my opinion, it's like I am driving to put gas in my vehicle. I'm not driving for a profit," Brown said.

While the average price of gasoline in Baton Rouge is currently $2.56, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), Gifford Briggs, said motorists can expect it to climb as the temperatures rise. "As we move into the summer, the refineries have to move into a summer blend of gasoline, which is designed to help lower emissions when more people are on the road," Briggs said.

Some cities, like Lafayette for example, are in ozone attainment, meaning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require gas stations there to carry the more expensive, summer blend. Briggs said Baton Rouge has also reached that level and LOGA has sent a letter to the EPA requesting the designation. But approval could take several months. For now, Briggs suggests drivers travel smarter.

"If you're heading into Texas maybe you want to wait to get to Lafayette to get that fill up," Briggs said.

But if you live in a city that does not have that special status and your job depends on it, you might not have much of a choice.

"During the summertime, and now, I'm just going to hang it up. It's just not a profit for me," Brown said.

Briggs said he does not expect gas prices in Louisiana to reach the $3 mark this summer. He added motorists can expect to see prices fall after Labor Day.

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