[By Alexis Goree]
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Las Vegas strip is near empty and Nevadans are asked to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Some rideshare drivers now feeling the hit as rides rapidly decline.
“It’s like ghost city here. No business, nothing here,“ said Kirka, an Uber and Lyft driver.
Awaiting riders in a rideshare waiting zone near McCarran Airport, some drivers reported sitting in their cars for over three hours.
“It came down, you know, like a brick wall. It just stumbled right down.”
Malcolm Bissember, a four-year Lyft driver said business slowed down about three weeks ago. But the real decline came this week.
Right after Governor Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses to close in efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
But some drivers say their bills and livelihood are on the line.
“I’m hoping just for a ride to anywhere. We need to try to make at least some money rather than staying home at looking at four walls,“ Bissember said.
Though, Bissember reiterates safety for both himself and his riders come first.
“I don’t allow anyone to sit in my front seat anymore and I wipe my car down in between rides,” Bissember said.
Even requesting that shared “pool” rides be suspended for the time being.
“I think it’s an easier way to spread the virus with multiple people coming into your car,” Bissember said.
But Bissember said he and other drivers need to live. Both Uber and Lyft only provide drivers financial relief if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are asked to quarantine.
According to Lyft’s website, to help supplement drivers’ earnings, they’re actively expanding services to include delivery partnerships with healthcare, government, and businesses. To create new opportunities for drivers who are interested and able to drive.
So, Bissember volunteered.
“The ones who need to get around to healthcare services. They need to get around. They need to get to work and we need to keep them mobile if it’s what they need,“ Bissember said.
Bissember realizes he is in the same position as many during this coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not the best feeling in the world to see the entire strip shutdown. A lot of our colleagues, drivers, a lot of people in the hotel and casino industry. Everybody is out of a job right now,” Bissember said.
But said something needs to be done.
“I would like to do what I can to help our community. I still want to do my part to help,” Bissember said.