Coronavirus Pandemic Impacting Rideshare Drivers

One Chula Vista rideshare driver said she is struggling to pay her bills as she is losing out on 90% of her typical customers.

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For the last four years Chula Vista mom, Susana Valdez, has relied on driving for Uber and Lyft as her main source of income.

As tourism and outings come to a halt across San Diego County she said she is struggling to pay her bills.

“I get out of my car and wash my hands thoroughly every time. I also try not to touch anything,” explained Valdez who is a full-time rideshare driver. "And I sanitize the car with wipes.”

Valdez said her business has dramatically slowed down, she said in one day she typically earns around $150 to $200, but things are not so typical anymore.

She said this past week she's lucky to have made between $20 to $40 a day.

“I have to look for those riders that need the ride so, that I can also put food on my table and have a roof over my head,” said the mother of two.

Rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors and they cannot file for unemployment.

“So that has been really hard for me too because I need to go out there,” she said.

Uber and Lyft have stopped their pool services and both companies are offering help for drivers up to two weeks if they're diagnosed with COVID-19.

Valdez said she's even tried making deliveries with Uber Eats, but is not having much luck.

“People that had the money to go spend in a restaurant unfortunately now have been laid off, you now are staying at home and cooking at home because that's how they can make ends meet,” she said. “Even myself, I can't afford to go out and help those restaurants.”

Valdez and other rideshare drivers said they have tried applying to other rideshare companies during this time, specifically food delivery ones but many are not currently accepting new drivers.

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