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Gas frenzy stalling business for many San Antonio taxi drivers

As gas stations wait for fuel supplies, taxi drivers are losing money

SAN ANTONIO – Gas stations around town are still without fuel.  

While delivery trucks are on the way and trying to make their rounds, some drivers are suffering more than others. Some taxi drivers say the issue is stalling business. 

It's become a familiar sight: Gas nozzles bagged, out of order.

"It does affect everybody and anybody," said taxi driver Mohammad Amrollah. 

RELATED: VIA offers free rides Tuesday in light of gas shortage

Panic swept parts of Texas after Hurricane Harvey hit, and the frenzy left gas stations across San Antonio dry. All along the Texas coast, refineries made the decision to temporarily halt or reduce refining capacity to prevent facility damage. Optimism that operations will resume soon remains high; however, specific time frames are only being announced after damage assessments have been completed. 

State and local leaders have reiterated there is no gas shortage, but the Texas Food and Fuel Association said "the 'panic buying' frenzy placed an incredible strain on Texas’ fuel distribution system and threw the demand-to-supply ratio completely off balance." 

Now that stations have run out, it will take time to refill them. For taxi drivers, time means money.

READ MORE: Nirenberg says city can't put restrictions on gas consumption

"There's been a lot of money that was lost, lots of business that has stopped operating because they didn't have any gas," said taxi driver Tony Reyes.

Reyes has been driving a taxi on and off for 8 years, and has never seen this type of problem here before. 

"It affected us so drastically," he said.

A few drivers have been luckier.

"I have not come close to running out of gas but some guys have and they've paid heavy prices," said Amrollah, who has driven a taxi in San Antonio for almost 37 years. 

He mentioned the price hikes that are also making things difficult.

"The prices are affecting us because already Uber, Lyft, any Internet transportation has already affected our life, and the gas makes it worse," Amrollah said.

Now what's being asked for is patience, while delivery trucks try to catch up with outrageous demand. 

The taxi drivers hope people who don't need gas will stay away from the pump until supplies have been restored. Mayor Ron Nirenberg has suggested carpooling, biking or walking to work, or even working from home if possible. VIA will also be providing passengers free rides on Tuesday.

The Texas Food and Fuel Association has said: "Optimism that operations will resume soon remains high; however, specific time frames are only being announced after damage assessments have been completed."


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