If you keep a car on-campus, you probably sweat when you pass a gas station right now. In State College, you can find gas prices of almost $4.10 per gallon. The increase in gas prices is a 40-year high for America, with other goods such as food, rent and labor increasing in price as well. In the past year, gas prices have been up by 38%.
The influx in price undoubtedly is a consequence of the two-year-long pandemic that has caused economic hardship across the country. Also, the Russia-Ukraine war has affected gas prices in the United States.
Because of the rising gas prices, Uber has announced that they will be applying a “surcharge” or fee to each ride slightly to accommodate their drivers.
The Surcharge and The Reason Behind It
The new surcharge will range from 35 and 55 cents, on both Uber and Uber Eats services. The charge varies from city to city.
Uber drivers will receive the fee directly into their pockets.
Liza Winship, Uber’s head of driver operations said in a statement, “We’ve done our best to help drivers and couriers without placing too much additional burden on consumers.”
According to Uber, the fee is temporary for the following 60 days, pending feedback from customers, drivers and gas prices.
If Uber’s price increase has you considering Lyft instead, don’t switch too quickly. Lyft also adapted a $0.55 cent fee to each ride. This fee will also be sent directly to drivers with the hopes of keeping as many drivers on the roads.
According to Lyft’s website, they will also be giving the same surcharge to drivers with electric vehicles.
Not only does the surcharge aim to help drivers cover the cost of gas, but Uber has partnered up with GetUpside, a cashback app, to allow drivers to get cashback at over 25,000 gas stations in America.
Lyft has the same partnership with GetUpside.
Some people criticized the charge, saying the solution is to pay the drivers more. In New York, drivers there will not receive the surcharge since New York City’s minimum earning standard increased 5.3% this month.
A More Cost-Effective Rideshare Service
If you’re someone who depends on Uber and Lyft heavily to get you around State College, don’t fret. Another service, more local to State College, is Nomad Rides.
Nomad Rides is a rideshare company that charges a flat fee for anywhere within the radius of on-campus and off-campus.
They too have added a surcharge of $0.40 cents a ride; however, since the price never changes based on where you are going (as long as you stay inside the radius given), it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Rides are $5.50 regardless of where you go — unless you leave the predetermined radius, then it may change.
Thankfully, the weather in State College is warming up for the spring season. If you are someone who tends to use rideshares to class or to the bars, you could definitely save money by simply walking or utilizing the CATABus, a free transportation service at Penn State.
Let VALLEY know what you think about Uber and Lyft’s surcharge by tweeting us @VALLEYmag.