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Uber and Lyft add fuel surcharges to rides as gas prices surge nationwide

Rideshare drivers demonstrate against rideshare companies Uber and Lyft during a car caravan protest on August 6, 2020 in Los Angeles. - The drivers, organized by the Mobile Workers Alliance and Rideshare Drivers United unions, say Uber and Lyft's are pushing a "deceptive" November ballot initiative, which, if passed, they claim would "rewrite labor law" and turn app-based drivers into independent contractors, exempting companies such as Lyft and Uber from standard wage and hour restrictions. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
Ride-share companies Lyft and Uber announced they will add a temporary surcharge on their rides to help their drivers deal with the rise in gas prices.

Uber and Lyft customers are paying a bit more for rides this week, as both companies have announced they're adding a temporary surcharge to deal with the rise in gas prices nationwide.

In a statement to NPR, Lyft said the company is asking its riders to pay what it's calling a temporary fuel surcharge. All the money from that will go directly to its drivers.

"We've been closely monitoring rising gas prices and their impact on our driver community," a company spokesperson said.

The company did not specify how much riders would be expected to pay on future trips.

Lyft's move follows a similar one by the biggest competing ride-share service, Uber, which announced last week it would add a surcharge on Uber trips and Uber Eats orders for the next 60 days. After that the company will reassess its plan.

"We know that prices have been going up across the economy, so we've done our best to help drivers and couriers without placing too much additional burden on consumers," Uber said in a statement.

Uber customers will pay a surcharge of either $0.45 or $0.55 on each trip, while Uber Eats deliveries will include a charge of $0.35 or $0.45 on each order, depending on their location. Drivers will receive 100% of that money directly, the company said.

Uber's surcharge will not apply to rides that begin in New York City or Uber Eats deliveries within the city's limits because drivers there received a 5.3% increase to the city's minimum earnings standard this month.

News of the additional fees for ride-shares comes in response to the increase in gas prices nationwide following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As of Monday, the average cost of a gallon of regular fuel had reached $4.325, according to AAA; that's up 26 cents in just the past week. Around this time last year, the average price was $2.859 per gallon.

Last week, President Biden announceda ban on all U.S. imports of Russian oil and gas and acknowledged that the move could drive crude and gas prices higher nationwide. The president pledged to do everything in his power to not have the rise in gas prices impact Americans and their wallets.

"Defending freedom is going to cost," Biden acknowledged, however. "It's going to cost us as well in the United States." Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.