Unusually high gas prices throughout the US and Canada has led to Uber tacking on a fuel surcharge to rides and deliveries, according to a blog post on the company’s website. This likely won’t surprise anyone who’s gotten behind the wheel recently. A rapid spike in crude oil and gas prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made paying anywhere from $50 to $80 to fill a tank the norm.
“We know that prices have been going up across the economy, so we’ve done our best to help drivers and couriers without placing too much additional burden on consumers. Over the coming weeks we plan to listen closely to feedback from consumers, couriers and drivers. We’ll also continue to track gas price movements to determine if we need to make additional changes,” wrote Uber spokesperson Liza Winship on the company’s website.
Uber’s fuel surcharge will vary by state and by the amount of miles driven. For Uber rides, the fuel surcharge will be anywhere between $0.45 to $0.55 per trip. For Uber Eats deliveries, the fee will be between $0.35 to $0.45 per trip. The company says the additional fee will go straight to Uber drivers, who pay for mileage out of their own pockets. The policy won’t apply at all in New York City, where drivers have a pay floor and the majority of delivery drivers are on bikes.
Interestingly enough, riders will have to pay the fuel surcharge even if they're riding in an EV. According to The Verge, Uber hopes this will be an additional incentive for drivers to switch to electric vehicles. But given that Uber already charges passengers an additional $1 for its Uber Green option — which only deploys hybrid or electric vehicles— this could lead to some Uber Green customers opting for cheaper ride options.
High gas prices have led to some Uber drivers working for below minimum wage, especially in California, where the average price of a gallon of regular gas on Friday was $5.802, significantly higher than the national average. Some Uber drivers have opted to not work at all due to the price of gas.
Uber’s fuel surcharge will go into effect on March 16th, 2021, after which the company will re-evaluate the policy.