High Gas Prices Mean Higher Lyft and Uber Prices, Too

Lyft, Uber, and other ride-share companies, along with delivery services, are adjusting their business operations in reaction to rising gas prices at the pump. Next week, Lyft will tack on an additional fuel surcharge for customers to pay, to help relieve the service’s national network of contracted drivers, copying the move competitor Uber made last week.

The new charge is 55 cents per ride, paid by the rider, and is supposed to go into effect starting next week. Lyft says the surcharge will be charged on each ride for at least the next 60 days, and all of the money will go directly to the drivers assigned to each ride.

Lyft’s surcharge follows a similar move from Uber announced last week. On Wednesday, March 16, Uber introduced either a $0.45 or $0.55 surcharge applied to each Uber ride, depending on market location. For Uber Eats customers, the surcharge is $0.35 to $0.45, depending on location. Uber’s surcharge will also be reviewed for renewal in 60 days.

Unfortunately, Lyft and Uber drivers working in New York City don’t get the same benefit. Lyft and Uber claim the surcharge is “not applicable” in NYC due to “a recent 5.3 percent increase in the minimum earnings standard for drivers” in the city.

So basically, NYC drivers got a raise, and now ride-sharing companies expect them to use their raise to pay for gas, while every other service driver everywhere else gets some relief from the new surcharge. That’s a little fishy, however, we’re sure NYC’s ride-share customers won’t be complaining about not having to pay the surcharge.

Lyft has offered drivers a rewards card program for fuel purchases as well. The Lyft Direct debit card offers drivers 4-5 percent cash back on gas purchases until June 30. Uber offers its Green Future Program, where Uber drivers of electrified vehicles are incentivized with an additional dollar earned on every ride, up to $4,000 per year.

Other similar services, like food delivery service DoorDash, are also taking steps to assist its workers with inflated gas prices. Drivers will get 10 percent cash back when using the DasherDirect debit card to buy gas, and drivers with the most miles will receive weekly pay bonuses going forward. As an aside, don’t be a jerk and use the new surcharge as an excuse not to tip your driver.

Average gas prices in the U.S. hit a new record high following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent global sanctions against Russia, cresting up to a record-high $4.43 per gallon last week. Prices have come down slightly, with AAA reporting a national average for regular gas of $4.27 per gallon heading into this weekend.

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