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Pain at the pump makes driving for rideshares almost not worth it

Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 20:07:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As pain at the pump continues, Lyft, another major ridesharing company, is adding a surcharge on fares and deliveries in the US and Canada. This follows the initial move by Uber last week.

Uber drivers told FOX 13 News that if prices continue to climb at the pump, they don’t think it’s going to be worth it to drive.

Molly Barrington and Bryson Gray are both Uber drivers. Over the past two weeks, they have noticed they’re not taking home as much as usual.

"My Uber money is my extra money I make," said Gray, who has been a part-time Uber driver for three years. "That’s anything from groceries, going out with the kids, or just paying bills. Probably about 30 percent of my earnings are gone."

“It used to be, I’d pay about a fifth of my paycheck in gasoline. Now it’s closer to a third that goes to gasoline,” said Barrington, who has driven for Uber for over 6 months.

They say if this trend continues at the pump, they might have to find another way to pay the bills.

“It has definitely discouraged me a couple times this month where it’s like, there’s no point in going out if I am just going to break even,” said Gray.

“Still worth it so far," Barrington said. "If it raises a quarter to 50 cents more, I probably won’t be able to do it just because I will be paying to drive."

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Rideshare companies are trying to counteract the spikes at the gas station by implementing a small surcharge.
Rides will cost an additional $0.45 or $0.55 per trip, and delivery orders will cost an extra $0.35 or $0.45, depending on the market.

Customers will see the surcharge even if their driver has an electric vehicle.

“It’s nice, but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s going to cover if it raises too much more,” said Barrington.

“I don’t think it’s very helpful. Maybe if it was more for longer trips, that would maybe help, but if you do an hour-long drive, you get an extra 55 cents — not very helpful,” said Gray.

Barrington says she still considers herself lucky to be employed by Uber.

“Everybody is struggling, and we understand that," she said. "I consider myself so blessed to live here, where all I have to worry about is paying a little extra for food and gasoline where we live in peace and we have so many things here that most people only dream of."

The extra fee for Uber is temporary. It’s expected to last for at least two months.

Uber customers will begin seeing the surcharge Wednesday.

Lyft did not specify how much extra passengers will pay or when the surcharge will go into effect. More details are expected to be released "shortly," according to the company.