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Small rideshare businesses may fill gaps if Uber leaves Sky Harbor

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 20:27:21-05

PHOENIX — With Uber saying they are leaving the airport in January now that the city of Phoenix has imposed a $4 fee on their drivers, there are spin-off, small companies that are ready to fill the gap.

One former Uber driver out in the far west Valley says she's ready to take on the extra business from the void that Uber may leave behind.

On the Friday morning before the busy Christmas holiday, Sarina Hobbs dropped off one man at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

"It was my first time taking him to the airport and he lives just a few minutes from my house," says Hobbs. "I would say 95% of my business is airport rides."

She's a former Uber driver who saw an opportunity when a friend asked for a ride to the airport.

"I said 'we can just do it on the side and I will charge less and I wouldn't have Uber taking out their charge,' so it was a win-win for both of us," she recalls telling her friend. That friend referred her to other friends and months later she had a business going.

"Just the customers that use credit cards I have about 250 to 300," says Hobbs.

Hobbs charges a one-way $45 flat fee -- and does scheduled rides -- which helps with her busy family.

"The number one reason why I went ahead and pushed through to do this is because I can be partially home with my kids and still making an income," she says.

Hobbs says she wonders how Uber drivers are able to make any money. When she left years ago, Uber was keeping 25 percent of her pay she says they now they keep 50 percent.

"If Uber (and) Lyft leave the airport like they say they are, it could be a real uptick in our business. I'm really looking forward to that."