Uber, Lyft Drivers Are at a Crossroads as Gas Prices Remain High

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Despite ride-share companies Uber and Lyft adding a recent surcharge, many drivers are considering quitting due to the excessive gas prices right now. For many drivers, the 45 to 55 cent surcharge barely helps with the cost of fueling up. Especially when gas prices average about $4.27 per gallon in most states.

At a Glance

  • A recent survey says 15% of Uber and Lyft drivers have already quit due to rising gas prices.
  • Many drivers spoke out in the survey, with one person even calling the surcharge “insulting.”
  • Uber and Lyft claim that both wages for drivers and the number of drivers in general have increased this year.

Recent Survey Reveals Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Displeasure Due to Gas Prices

According to Fox Business, more than 300 Uber and Lyft drivers recently participated in a survey conducted by The Rideshare Guy. This is a popular blog that many drivers follow online.

The survey reports that about 15% of participants had already quit their ride-share job. Additionally, 40% of participants claimed they were driving less frequently than they had earlier this year. These actions are due to the fact that Uber and Lyft drivers pay out of pocket for fuel, so rising gas prices directly affect their income.

But the icing on the cake was the surcharge, which barely puts a dent in these drivers’ gas budgets.

“It’s rather insulting that they even suggest 55 cents per ride because you have rides that are two minutes long and then you have rides that are an hour long,” Fabricio Lombeyda, a part-time driver in Buford, Georgia, said.

Lombeyda brings up a key point. The surcharge ranges from 45 to 55 cents, likely depending on the distance of the drive. But 55 cents makes little difference when these drivers take longer trips. For one thing, they use up more gas. And the longer the trip, the fewer individual rides a driver can provide in one day. So less chance to capitalize on the surcharge added per trip.

Uber and Lyft drivers also spoke out in a survey conducted by Coworker.org. Out of more than 200 participants, 90% agreed that the surcharges were insufficient.

One participant in the Coworker survey said, “First and foremost, we have been trying to get higher wages per trip even before the gas prices went up. Now to insult us with this minimal amount is ridiculous.”

Uber and Lyft Claim Numbers (Aside from Gas Prices) are on the Rise

That last comment from an Uber or Lyft driver likely came in response to recent statements made by the rideshare companies.

Lyft, in particular, revealed that their drivers earned higher per-hour wages in March 2022 than they did at the same time last year. The pandemic greatly reduced the need/safety of ride-sharing last year. So even though gas prices went up recently, so too did driver wages, per Lyft.

Lyft also denies that a drastic number of drivers have quit due to recent gas prices.

“We’ve not seen a decline in the number of drivers on the platform or the hours they drive when, for example, you compare March to January,” Lyft said in a statement.

But experts say that if Lyft and Uber didn’t fear drivers quitting, they wouldn’t have added a surcharge to attempt to placate the drivers in the first place.