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Cleveland rideshare driver feels the pain at the pump but says he'll keep driving

Posted at 8:03 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 08:03:43-05

CLEVELAND — Private transportation drivers are working to keep their fares low while dealing with high gas prices.

Michael Mel has been a professional driver for over 20 years and currently owns his own private transpiration company.

He said gas prices are the highest he’s ever seen.

Despite the hike in prices at the pump, Mel said he is trying to keep things affordable for his customers.

“I had to adjust my prices accordingly because I'm going to drive. I don’t care if the gas is $3.99 or $4.99. I’m going to help people because I was put on earth to help people," he said.

He thought his biggest challenge thus far was navigating the coronavirus pandemic as an entrepreneur.

"I had enforced the mask rule all the time, and I would clean the doorknobs and door handles all the time before and after they got in the car," Mel said.

The pain of higher prices is felt by other drivers who work for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Drivers have created a petition asking both companies to raise customer rates.

"We have to push it along somewhat, but some of the drivers might get greedy and start charging 2 or 3 dollars a mile, I raised it from 90 cents to a $1.20 in the last week, and I'm not going to go crazy with this thing."

Mel knows the struggle firsthand and urges people to not only tip their transit drivers but their delivery drivers, too.

"If I do two or three deliveries, and they don’t tip me, I am losing money big-time as a delivery driver, and there's no guarantee that anybody is going to tip you," he said.

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