Companies’ hope surcharges will incentivize drivers to power through current gas hike
Higher prices at the pump are not only costing drivers more to fill up the tanks. They are also cutting into the profits of drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft.
In response, Lyft announced it is adding a 55-cent surcharge to each ride in order to help compensate its drivers for the record-high gas prices being seen in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Recent gas price increases are making all types of transportation more expensive. And this has a direct effect on drivers,” Lyft said in a blog post announcing the surcharge.
Since drivers are responsible for filling up their own tanks, the higher cost has put a dent in their profit margins. The national average price for a gallon of gas was $4.305 on Wednesday, compared to $2.873 a year ago, according to AAA data.
Rideshare and food delivery companies are afraid drivers will quit or be unable to work due to the higher costs cutting into their profits.
“This will help offset fuel costs, which also helps more drivers stay on the road,” Lyft said.
The company says drivers can expect to see the surcharges for at least the next 60 days. Lyft is also offering drivers who apply for a Lyft Direct debit card to get 4-5% more cashback on gas through June 30.
“We’ll continue monitoring gas prices, listening to how drivers are being impacted, and finding ways to support them as things evolve,” the company said.
Uber has also added a surcharge to its rides and delivery orders, which the company says will be calculated based on the gas price per state and average trip distance.
“Beginning Wednesday, March 16, consumers will pay a surcharge of either $0.45 or $0.55 on each Uber trip and either $0.35 or $0.45 on each Uber Eats order, depending on their location—with 100% of that money going directly to workers’ pockets,” the company said in a statement last week.
Uber says it will reassess the surcharges in 60 days.