Uber driver shares pandemic hardships as she prepares for New Year’s Eve on the road

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As people prepare for the clock to strike 12 o’clock, some ride share drivers are gearing up for what could be a successful or disappointing night.

The New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day holidays look a lot different this year because of the pandemic and restrictions for bars and restaurants.

 Michelle Henderson has been driving with Uber for more than two years, but things quickly changed once the state saw its first coronavirus case. Now she’s unsure how much money she will make on one of her usually biggest nights this year.

“New Year’s Eve is the time where it’s the greatest need,” Henderson said. 

Before the new year starts, Henderson is prepping for the night that could go either way.

“I still go, because I desperately want to work and I know that they desperately need a ride,” she said. “So, it’s an important purpose.”

Henderson believes that there are still people who need rides.

“Because there are fewer drivers, people are definitely still going out or even those who are celebrating in smaller groups,” she explained.

Henderson even took it up a notch and spent some money to make things as safe as possible. She has the wipes, masks, and all the other products someone would need when getting a ride during a pandemic. On top of the supplies, she’s also willing to drive all around Central Arkansas.

“I may only make $3 or $4 and not only did I drive 40 mins to get there,” Henderson said. “Then my next ride is likely is going to be in North Little Rock and Little Rock and it may take another 30 minutes to get back to where I started.”

Henderson said Uber has made a lot of changes to protect people since COVID-19. Even that plays a part on how much money she makes.

“Well, I use to be able to make more money because I could take four people, I’ve been reduced to three,” she explained.

Henderson said it’s been tough trying to enforce masks and all the other requirements that Uber has put in place since the pandemic started but she’s staying positive and ready to help whoever she can.

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