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Rideshare drivers facing problems at the pump as gas prices continue to rise

The average gas price in Iowa on June 15 was $4.76, the highest ever recorded in the state.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Rising prices at the pump are already hurting plenty of Iowans, but what about people who need to keep their tanks filled up for work? 

Gas in Iowa is averaging $4.76/gallon as of June 15. That's the highest ever for the Hawkeye State, according to AAA. It's also making budgets a lot tighter for local rideshare drivers.

When Lane Richtsmeier first started out as a rideshare driver, it was just a part-time gig. But it was one that paid him pretty well.

"Easily on a Friday, Saturday night, total of $400 or $500," he said.

Three years later, driving has become his full-time job. He takes passengers for both Uber and Lyft. But as gas prices continue to rise, fueling up is taking a pretty big bite out of those paydays.

"When the gas bill has doubled in six months and our rate of pay has not, it makes it very hard still to justify being a full time guy out here," Richtsmeier said.

He's not the only one who's struggling. A survey from the Rideshare Guy, a website with resources for rideshare drivers, found that almost 40% of drivers were cutting their hours due to gas; 15% quit altogether. 

There has been some help from Uber and Lyft, as the companies have started issuing temporary surcharges for each ride.

RELATED: Public transportation seeing an increase in riders as gas prices rise

"They did implement basically a sort of an extra fuel charge, but it's only 45 cents per ride, which is really not enough," said Thomas Cosgrove, another rideshare driver. He also drives for both Uber and Lyft.

There are still ways for drivers to help make up the difference. Something that both of the drivers who spoke to Local 5 said even a small tip can go a long way towards making a night of driving worth it.

"Always try and tip a little bit more. It always helps us out with our costs and just being able to continue doing it in general," Cosgrove said.

Is there any help in sight? Nationwide, gas is averaging just over $5 per gallon, and according to a recent analysis from JPMorgan, it could reach up to $6 by the end of August.

RELATED: Several factors are converging to push gas prices higher

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