A driver makes use of the Uber app to drop off a passenger.
Chris J. Ratcliffe | Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs
When Sergio Avedian, 55, began driving full time for Uber and Lyft in 2016, he used to make $3,000 every week.
“Now, it is unimaginable to make that type of cash,” he mentioned.
Popping out of the pandemic, demand for rides is excessive however inflation and the rising price of gasoline has made it tougher for drivers to earn what they as soon as did.
“Fuel costs just about crippled all drivers,” mentioned Chris Gerace, contributor at The Rideshare Guy, a weblog geared toward serving to rideshare drivers earn extra money.
Almost half of rideshare staff, together with Uber and Lyft drivers, in addition to meals deliverers for firms like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats, give up or drive much less due to the latest spike in fuel costs, in response to The Rideshare Man’s personal ballot.
“I hope that it is solely a brief factor however as time goes on, we’re going to have one other section of drivers say ‘I am unable to do that anymore,'” Gerace mentioned.
The Client Value Index, which measures the costs Individuals should pay for items and providers, is up 8.5% from a year ago — notching a contemporary excessive in March. Nonetheless, fuel costs jumped 18.3% for the month, boosted by the war in Ukraine and the strain that’s placing on provide.
“Fuel costs alone accounted for greater than half of the month-to-month improve within the CPI, and over the previous yr, fuel costs are up 48%,” mentioned Greg McBride, chief monetary analyst at Bankrate.
Though the nationwide common for a gallon of normal gasoline fell barely to $4.10 after the White Home introduced a number of stopgap measures, it’s nonetheless considerably greater than the $2.86 seen one yr in the past, in response to information from AAA.
In California, the place Avedian works, a gallon of normal gasoline averages $5.75.
To compensate drivers for rising fuel costs, Uber launched a temporary fuel surcharge final month. Customers should now pay an extra 45 cents or 55 cents on every journey and both 35 cents or 45 cents on every Uber Eats order, relying on the situation.
“We all know that costs have been going up throughout the economic system, so we have carried out our greatest to assist drivers and couriers with out inserting an excessive amount of extra burden on customers,” Uber mentioned in a press release.
Lyft additionally added a 55-cent surcharge on every journey to assist offset drivers’ gasoline prices, whereas Doordash now has a ten% cashback program on all fuel purchases and Grubhub elevated per mile distance pay.
“We have continued to carefully monitor fuel costs and their influence on drivers,” a spokesperson for Lyft mentioned.
“We have taken a number of steps to assist alleviate ache on the pump, together with introducing a 55-cent gasoline surcharge for every journey that goes instantly from riders to drivers, and can proceed to put money into extra methods to assist the driving force group,” the spokesperson added.
As of April, Lyft drivers are spending 57 cents extra on fuel per hour, on common, in comparison with a yr in the past, in response to the corporate.
Avedian, who can be a contributor at The Rideshare Man, mentioned the incentives, together with a sudden scarcity of drivers because of greater fuel costs has helped increase his earnings.
“With extra drivers dropping out, the demand for rides is excessive,” he mentioned. “Which means fares are greater.”
Nonetheless, others say it is would not make up for the elevated value of driving.
“The issue with the gasoline surcharge is that it would not bear in mind distance,” Gerace mentioned. “You may solely have brief rides, which is nice, however if in case you have longer rides, that 45 or 55 cents isn’t going to cowl something at that time.
“It helps on paper, however in follow it isn’t sufficient.”