Rising gasoline prices as a result of the Russia invasion of Ukraine have hit ride-sharing and food delivery service drivers in the pocketbook, forcing their employers to take steps to defray the added costs.
The national average price of a gasoline on Wednesday was $4.30 a gallon or 11% higher than the week before, according to AAA, with California registering the highest price at $5.77 and Kansas the lowest at $3.81.
Ride-sharing services Uber Technologies (UBER) – Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report and Lyft (LYFT) – Get Lyft, Inc. Class A Report have delivered a solution for the increased gas prices that their drivers were paying with temporary surcharges for customers. Beginning Wednesday, Uber drivers will add a fuel surcharge of either 45 cents or 55 cents on each trip and either 35 cents or 45 cents on each Uber Eats order, depending on the location with 100% of that money being paid to the drivers, according to a Friday statement.
Lyft also on Wednesday began adding a surcharge of 55 cents on all of its trips. Both Uber and Lyft’s surcharges will be in effect for 60 days and do not apply to New York City, since the city raised the minimum earnings rate for drivers by 5.3% in March.
Rewarding Programs Don’t Include Surcharges
Food delivery service DoorDash (DASH) – Get DoorDash, Inc. Class A Report on Wednesday introduced a customer-friendly program that, instead of hitting customers with a surcharge, offers two gas rewards programs for its drivers to help defray higher gas costs. Dashers who qualify for both of the programs can earn between $1.65 and $2 a gallon in rewards.
DoorDash rival Grubhub had not rolled out a gas price relief program for its drivers at last check.
DoorDash offers its drivers, or Dashers, 10% cash back on gasoline purchases at any gas station through its DasherDirect prepaid business Visa debit card every time they use their card, even when they aren’t dashing. The DasherDirect card is open to all U.S. Dashers with no credit check required to apply. Dashers can use a virtual card at digital checkout screens as soon as they are approved beginning Thursday.
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Dashers Can Earn Bonuses
Dashers will also be eligible for weekly gas bonuses of $5 for those who accept and complete orders totaling 100 miles. The bonus increases to $10 for 175 miles and $15 for 225 miles. The extra earnings from the bonuses can add between $1.27 to $1.69 per gallon for those who qualify on top of DoorDash pay, promotions and tips.
DoorDash will keep both rewards programs in place at least through April, according to its statement. The company will continue to monitor gas prices, listen to its Dasher community and seek feedback as the programs evolve and it explores additional resources over the coming weeks and months.
“Our mission is to empower local economies and that begins with serving our Dasher, merchant and customer community as best we can,” according to DoorDash’s statement.
DoorDash estimates that it had over 6 million Dashers in 2021, with about 3 million of those working in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“We want to ensure that these earning opportunities remain accessible and viable for all, and we believe these relief measures will help keep the most money possible in Dashers’ pockets,” the statement said.