Some Las Vegas rideshare drivers hit the brakes on F1 despite surcharge incentives

Some drivers plan on putting their business in "park" when the F1 track is hot in Las Vegas.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 8:10 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - As construction on the strip has progressed in preparation for F1, FOX5 has been talking to rideshare drivers who say it’s hurting their businesses.

Some still plan on putting their business in park when the track is hot, even after a rideshare drop off plan and surcharge incentives were rolled out ahead of the race.

With F1 racing into town in just a few days, many Las Vegas rideshare drivers are already exhausted and feeling burnt out dealing with construction traffic.

“I picked up someone at the Luxor Hotel last night, and I was driving them down to the Bellagio, and that’s a mile away. It took me over an hour... and the race hasn’t even started,” said Las Vegas rideshare driver Gene Gunnels.

When the race events do start, Uber and Lyft are offering perks to drivers willing to work.

Uber said: “The Las Vegas Grand Prix presents unique challenges and we’re working directly with organizers to improve rideshare operations, including implementing a surcharge, 100% of which will go directly to drivers. Drivers in Las Vegas already earn on average more than $30 when they’re with a passenger, and to increase earnings further, and help meet demand, we’ll have additional incentives on top of the surcharge. However, this is an unprecedented event in Las Vegas and fans will encounter both higher wait times and prices. We’d encourage people to consider transportation options and check the F1 website for more information.”

Lyft said: “The F1 race provides a great opportunity for drivers to earn. In addition to the large number of rides we are expecting, we’re also planning increased incentives for all drivers the week of the race. This should help ensure there are enough drivers to meet demand and that it’s worth it for them to be on the platform. It’s all part of our effort to ensure both riders and drivers have a positive experience for the race.”

However, some rideshare drivers tell FOX5 during F1 still won’t be worth it.

“It’s going to be like at times four bucks more or ten bucks more per ride,” said Las Vegas rideshare driver John Grannan, “but if you can’t move, you can’t make money. So I think they’re going to have to go a lot higher because I’ve heard a lot of people are just going to be gone and not come.”

“The drivers from the waiting lot and the airport that I’ve talked to have been 50-50 on saying if they’re either going to drive or they’re not going to drive,” said Gunnels.

At the Clark County Commission meeting last week, officials with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said many strip hotels have set up their own rideshare pickup and drop-off points off the track, and extra rideshare locations have been added for riders to transfer to the inner-loop shuttle when the track is hot, with signs directing rideshare drivers where to go.

However, even with these preparations and incentives in place, many rideshare drivers said they still plan on hitting the brakes and clocking out when race weekend rolls around.

“My plan is to possibly drive earlier in the week, earlier in the day and see how it goes, but driving at night, I’m not planning to drive,” said Gunnels. “I know there’s drivers needed, and I hope that a lot of drivers do drive, and I wish them a lot of luck as well as the customers that are waiting. Please be patient.”