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Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are tacking on a fuel surcharge for customers to help drivers offset the cost of record-high gas prices.
The move from Uber comes as gig workers tell the Boston Herald that they’re getting off the road because skyrocketing gas prices have hit a tipping point — “where it’s just not worth it at all anymore” because fuel costs are crushing their profit.
“I’m not driving right now because I’m not trying to have those costs sink into what I make,” said Beth Griffith of the Boston Independent Drivers Guild.
“It’s not worth it to me,” she added as the Bay State average for regular gas surged to $4.35 a gallon, and $4.47 in Suffolk County. “And I’m hearing that from a lot of people who are not driving right now.”
The Uber surcharge will be either 45 cents or 55 cents per ride and 35 cents or 45 cents per Eats order, based on location. Lyft didn’t elaborate on how high the new surcharge would be or what markets would be affected.
“We’ve been closely monitoring rising gas prices and their impact on our driver community,” a Lyft spokesman said March 14 in an email. “Driver earnings overall remain elevated compared to last year, but given the rapid rise in gas prices we’ll be asking riders to pay a temporary fuel surcharge, all of which will go to drivers.”
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Uber drivers who complete 40 rides in a week would get an extra $18 that week, and couriers who complete 40 deliveries would get an extra $14.
“Gas prices have hit record highs. Help is on the way,” Uber wrote to drivers and couriers.
“We know drivers and couriers are feeling the sting of record-high prices at the pump, so we’re rolling out a temporary fuel surcharge to help,” Liza Winship, head of Uber driver operations for U.S. and Canada, said in a statement. “This consumer surcharge will apply to each ride or delivery and will vary by location, with 100% going directly to drivers and couriers.”
The Uber surcharge will be rolled out on March 16, and Uber plans to re-evaluate the surcharge in two months.
Meanwhile, Just Eat Takeaway.com NV’s U.S.-based food-delivery arm Grubhub increased pay for its drivers to help compensate for record-high gas prices.
The Just Eat subsidiary increased per-mile distance pay nationwide beginning March 9, according to an email sent to drivers March 11. Grubhub didn’t specify the amount it would boost wages, but said the adjustment will account for the average per-mile cost increases for gas in a driver’s region.
Contributing: Bloomberg News