NY1 (NEW YORK) — Jahongir Ibadov has been a driver with Uber since 2013. He says in the last several weeks, it has cost him almost double to fill up his tank of gas.
That is why he was one of the dozens of drivers in caravan from downtown Brooklyn to Uber’s headquarters in Manhattan to demand a fuel surcharge.
“We cannot afford our families, I believe that Uber and Lyft taking action for the gas, we can continue to be on the road,” Ibadov said.
Companies like Uber and Lyft have temporarily hit passengers in other cities with a small fuel surcharge.
It varies from about 45 to 55 cents per trip, but the surcharges were not applied to rides here.
Michelle Dottin has been driver with Uber for five years, she says anything would help.
“That would cover the excess in the gas prices, not all of it, because depending on the gas station, some have gone up more than a dollar but that 45 cents is half of the extra cost we are paying. It still doesn’t cover it, but it is something to help us,” said Dottin.
Manhattan has one of the highest in the state at $4.72 for a gallon of gas.
Prices in the other boroughs are still above national average.
At the start of the month Uber gave drivers a more than 5% raise bringing the minimum wage to more than $31.
But drivers like Ibadov say they are still not bringing home enough profit.
“For the drivers we are not feeling nothing,” he noted.
Raul Rivera had to give up his car because he was falling too far behind on bills.
He says he doesn’t understand why Uber is instituting a surcharge in other cities, but not here.
“They should include everybody,” Rivera said.
Uber said in a statement the raise for driver tied to the rate of inflation and to rising gas prices but Uber says it is mandated by the state.
In contrast, Uber says taxi workers haven’t seen a raise on the meter in ten years.