LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Locals and visitors are seeing no cars available or long wait times for rideshare services throughout the valley.
One longtime driver says he won't go back.
“Oh, it's great for me right now. I think as the casinos opened to 50% that bumped everything up … people escaping all these lockdowns and everything. I've seen the demand over the last two weeks pick up greatly,” Uber driver Jim Hiott told FOX5 as his phone beeped signaling his next ride.
Hiott said as more people go out, he makes more money, especially since his vehicle can hold more passengers who pay a premium. Hiott's glad to be behind the wheel but knows not everyone is making that choice.
“There was a huge cut in business. A lot of passengers weren’t here. Everything was pretty much closed, and I would sit around for hours … I was working every single day,” Will Misdom said.
Misdom drove for both Uber and Lyft, thousands of rides since 2016, but called it quits near the beginning of the pandemic.
“They weren’t enforcing the mask mandate so passengers were getting in the cars without having to use masks and if you tell them to use masks they would rate you bad or have an attitude with you,” Misdom said.
Misdom said that as demand is now increasing in Las Vegas again, the ride sharing services are hailing him.
“They keep sending me stuff, incentives trying to get me back on the road but just like a lot of other drivers we don’t want to do it because it’s not worth it and they have been cutting rates on top of that,” Misdom said.
Misdom said the bottom line is the biggest reason not to return. With rising gas and business fees, Misdom said he would make less money today for the same amount of work.
“Raise the pay up to at least what it was before COVID hit,” Misdom said. “Let’s be honest. We care about the money.”
FOX5 reached out to both Uber and Lyft about the shortage of rides. Lyft reported the highest volume they've seen since the pandemic shutdown adding “we are working diligently to adjust to the current landscape and are investing to increase the number of drivers."
Meanwhile, Uber argued the state's pause on surge pricing "inadvertently impacts driver earnings and rider reliability."