With U.S. gas prices reaching record levels of $5 a gallon, ride-share and gig economy delivery drivers are taking the hit squarely where it hurts most: in their take-home pay.
Speaking last week, Uber (NYSE: UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would extend its fuel surcharge for ride-share drivers. Set at either 45 or 55 cents for ride-share and 35 or 45 cents for Uber Eats drivers, the surcharge was announced as temporary when it was introduced March 14. On that date, the average U.S. gas price was $4.32 per gallon. On Saturday, the average price was $5 per gallon according to AAA.
The surcharges offered in the industry, though, have not increased and in some cases have been eliminated. While Uber is extending its surcharge for ride-share drivers, it will eliminate it for Uber Eats drivers as of Wednesday. Similarly, DoorDash announced it was eliminating its surcharge implemented in the spring as of Aug. 31.
“Gas prices are having a significant impact on the viability of gig-driving, as well on consumer ride-share and delivery prices,” said Gridwise CEO Ryan Green. “As a company focused on helping gig-drivers maximize their bottom line, we’re glad to be positioned to further support them with bringing down a very top-of-mind expense.”
Gridwise is offering gig economy drivers a new gas discount program. Previously its Gridwise Gas program offered drivers 2 cents off per gallon, but starting Tuesday, the new program is offering discounts of 50 cents per gallon for both ride-share and delivery drivers. The program is built in partnership with GasBuddy.
“The Gridwise Gas program is not a solo effort,” said Clay Moore, Gridwise director of brand partnerships. “We’ve been able to partner with brands who want to support drivers by contributing to these subsidies as well. It’s a great opportunity for them to make an impact, and drivers take notice of who is in their corner.”
Gridwise offers an app for gig drivers that is not tied to any platform, but rather aggregates information to help workers make the best decisions for themselves. The app provides a suite of information on times and areas of demand, expected peak times at airports, upcoming events, stats around an individual’s work, finance tracking, and a benefits marketplace providing access to dental, vision, affordable phone plans and more.
To participate in the Gridwise Gas program, drivers must download the Gridwise app, subscribe to Gridwise Plus, and order a Gridwise gas card. Once the card has been received, drivers will be able to use it at nearly all major gas stations and receive 50 cents off for up to 100 gallons.