A boomer who quit taxi driving to drive for Uber and Lyft said he 'can't afford to take a day off' to make ends meet


After 17 years as a taxi driver in Reno, Nevada, Jerry decided to switch to driving for Uber and Lyft due to the high costs associated with leasing a taxi. While this transition initially provided more financial stability, Jerry now finds it difficult to pay his bills as a rideshare driver, working long hours to make ends meet.

Despite enjoying the flexibility and social interactions that come with rideshare driving, Jerry faces financial challenges. He used to earn a comfortable living as a taxi driver, but when the taxi companies he worked for shut down, he made the switch to driving for Uber and Lyft. Initially, this seemed promising, but lately, the low pay and high expenses have made it difficult for him to maintain his standard of living.

Jerry attempted to return to taxi driving but found it to be less profitable than rideshare driving. Even though he considered other options like working for a new taxi company and food delivery, none provided a significant improvement in earnings.

He now works seven days a week, often from late afternoon until midnight or 1 a.m., just to earn around $1,000 a week, which is significantly less than what he used to make. The low ride fares combined with high expenses, particularly for longer trips, have made it increasingly challenging to sustain his livelihood.

Despite these challenges, Jerry enjoys the opportunity to explore the scenic areas of his region and meet new people through his driving. He aims to continue driving for Uber and Lyft, but is uncertain about the sustainability of working seven days a week.

To make ends meet, he strives to provide excellent service to his passengers, maintaining a clean car, assisting customers with luggage, and engaging in friendly conversations. While Jerry acknowledges other job options or retirement are possibilities, he wants to continue driving for as long as possible due to his love for the profession.  

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