Uber To Gouge You With New Gas Price Fee Now That The Oil Industry Is Gouging You

They call the new fee “temporary driver fuel assistance,” but whatever the name, starting Wednesday, you’ll pay between 35 and 55 cents extra for every Uber ride or Uber Eats order.

The current historical rise in gas prices is not surprising to cut gig workers’ wages so severely that the Guardian reports that this is the case not even minimum wage, or more precisely, even less or less than the minimum wage than before. Those high prices, in turn, create other high prices, at least for people who use Uber and Uber Eats, as KGO reports Uber will do Add a fuel fee to all rides and orders starting Wednesdaya fee that can be as high as 55 cents per trip.

Uber describes the new fee on their blog as a “temporary refueling support for drivers and couriers”, it will vary by city and distance and is said to be temporary. “Rides customers pay a surcharge of either $0.45 or $0.55 for each Uber ride, and Eats customers pay either $0.35 or $0.45 for each Uber Eats order, depending on location ‘ according to Uber’s official announcement. “The surcharge is temporary for the next 60 days, but we will continue to monitor gas prices and may make further changes.”

The company says that “100% of this new supplement goes straight to us [the driver]’, so we’d hope that’s true. Given California’s gas price situation in the Bay Area, expect the full 55 cent surcharge on all Uber rides and the full 45 cent surcharge on all Uber Eats orders.

According to the KGO, the new fee will come into effect “on Wednesday, March 16.”

This current gas price spike comes at a time when the traditionally very unprofitable Uber actually squeezed its way out two consecutive marginally profitable quarters. Obviously, Uber doesn’t pay anything for gas, that’s driver costs. But gas prices can cause drivers to shy away from driving or refuse more fares, and Uber’s current profitability is low enough that it could be hurt by drivers weaning. This might be the right move for them, although the odds of gas prices falling 60 days from mid-May — with Memorial Day and summer just around the corner — are between zero and you-must-fuck-kid-me.

In other words, the extra gas fee is likely to be around for a while. And don’t be surprised if other gig economy companies charge similar surcharges. Still, if these price hikes happen to coincide with oil and gas companies, we’d question whether gas really costs more to ship and deliver with the biggest gains in years.

Related: Where is the cheapest gas in the Bay Area right now? Pleasanton and Kenwood [SFist]

Image: Viktor Bystrov via Unsplash

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