‘It’s going to be a problem’: Grand Strand Uber driver concerned about gas shortage

Published: May. 14, 2021 at 5:15 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Some Rideshare drivers say the ongoing gas shortage is extremely troubling because without fuel, they’re unable to do their jobs.

This comes at a time gas experts are reporting fuel stations across the area are “running on empty” as the Colonial Pipeline gets back to full capacity.

Horry County resident Cathie Crow has been a Rideshare driver for five years.

On top of a full-time job, she works as an Uber and Lyft driver on the weekends. Right now, she may have to miss out on those extra weekend bucks because of the gas shortage issues.

“I have a quarter of a tank, so if I can’t get any more gas. I’m not going to be driving this weekend,” Crow said.

She says drivers must fuel up because they don’t know how far they may have to drive on a given day. For that reason, she’s unsure about whether the gas stations will have enough fuel to meet Rideshare demands this weekend.

“I probably will be able to get some rides Friday and possibly Saturday morning,” she said.

She’s confident customers will need rides the entire weekend because there are activities happening across the Grand Strand for bike week and other events.

“I think it’s going to be a problem,” Crow said. “I went out at lunch today and all the gas stations I saw had the out of order on their gas tops. I don’t know when they’re going to get more deliveries.”

Edward Vining has been an Uber and Lyft driver for three years. He says he enjoys his job and serving his customers.

But this week has been a bit tougher for both drivers and riders because of the gas issues. Vining says after some long waits, he’s been able to get gas all week.

“I have to make sure I have a full tank of gas cause you never know where you’re going,” Vining said. “I don’t want to get somewhere and I can’t get back.”

Vining says a group of Uber drivers at the Myrtle Beach International Airport have come together to alert one another about which gas stations have fuel. This is helping drivers to ensure they have enough gas for their trips

But he’s hearing how some drivers are having a tougher time, which has resulted in some employees not working until they can fuel up.

Vining says the decrease in drivers is having a trickle down effect on customers.

“They’re paying a little more because there aren’t as many drivers getting gas so all the other passengers have to pick that up so there’s a lot of surges going on,” he said.

Vining says right now, the major topic of discussion for his customers are the fuel issues. He hopes the gas shortage issues will soon be a thing of the past so everyone can get back to the “fuel norm.”

“I think as more of the gas gets more available, I think more drivers will be out to drive,” Vining said. “Be patient with us because there’s fewer of us.”

But for some like Crow, another week of not fueling up just won’t cut it.

“I’m definitely going to have to stop for a little bit,” Crow said. “If I can’t get gas, I can’t drive.”

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