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Lyft will add 55-cent surcharge to each ride to help drivers with higher gas prices

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A traveler arriving at Los Angeles International Airport looks for ground transportation during a statewide day of action to demand that ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft follow California law and grant drivers “basic employee rights” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 20, 2020.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Lyft said Wednesday it will add a 55 cent surcharge to each ride, beginning next week, to help drivers with higher gas prices.

The company said the surcharge will last for at least 60 days. As of Wednesday, the national average for a gallon of gas was $4.305, according to data from AAA. The national average a year ago was $2.873.

Rideshare and food delivery companies have been working to help drivers who are in charge of filling up their own tanks. The fear is that some drivers will quit for more profitable work since their take-home earnings has declined because of higher costs. If too many people quit, the rideshare companies, which are still in the process of bringing drivers back to the platform from the pandemic, would likely have to restart costly incentive programs to lure people in.

“This will help offset fuel costs, which also helps more drivers stay on the road,” the company said in a blog post announcing the details of the surcharge. Lyft first said Monday it would implement some sort of surcharge.

The surcharge will be applied to all areas except for New York City, which raised the minimum earnings standard for drivers, and Nevada, which Lyft said regulatory requirements prevent the company from rolling out the surcharge immediately.

The company also highlighted ways to get cash back on gas. In the U.S., drivers can apply for Lyft’s debit card and get an increased 4-5% cashback on gas through June 30, it said. The company also partners with GetUpside for cash-back offers.

Food delivery company DoorDash on Tuesday said it was launching a cash-back program to avoid transferring the costs to consumers. The company said all U.S. delivery drivers will be eligible for 10% cash back on gas through a prepaid business Visa debit card. The program begins March 17 and will last at least through April.

Lyft competitor Uber was the first to announce fuel surcharges after drivers began to voice their complaints. Riders taking Uber trips will pay a fee of $0.45 to $0.55 per trip for at least two months, the company said. Uber Eats deliveries will include a $0.35 to $0.45 surcharge.

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