Gas prices have taken a substantial drop since breaking multiple records over the past couple of weeks in Metro Vancouver — but drivers are still having to dig deep into their pockets.
Transportation companies are also feeling the pinch at the pumps as gas prices in the Lower Mainland sit at just under $2 per litre Friday (March 11). Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is driving costs up and the future remains uncertain.
Mohan Singh Kang, president of the BC Taxi Association, told Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone interview that he has already appealed to the BC Transportation Board for a temporary surcharge as prices continue to soar in the region.
"In July 2008 there was a gas surcharge granted by the [Passenger Transportation] Board," he said, explaining that companies cannot control how much they charge customers.
If a surcharge was granted, that means customers could expect to pay slightly more for their trips — but it isn't permanent. Once prices come down, the association would remove it.
The BC Taxi Taxi Association represents 11 companies in Metro Vancouver and drivers are feeling the impact of the surging gas prices. However, some small communities in B.C. are especially hard hit. Kang noted that this is concerning where taxis may be the only mode of transportation.
David Wharf, senior manager of business operations at Evo Car Share, told V.I.A. that the company is reluctant to raise rates in spite of the increase in gas prices.
"We don't have any immediate plans to raise rates," he said. "For right now, it's business as usual."
Evo Car Share reported one of its strongest weekends in sales since before the pandemic, which he says could be attributed to the sky-rocking prices at the pumps.
The company will continue to watch gas prices, however, the process of changing rates is quite long, Wharf notes.
Uber increases costs
While the BC Taxi Association awaits approval from the transportation board, Uber announced Friday (March 11) that it will be increasing prices to help drivers and delivery people.
Rideshare riders will pay a $0.50 surcharge on every ride and, on Uber Eats where trips are shorter, consumer fees will be adjusted to cover the equivalent of a $0.35 surcharge on every delivery.
“We know drivers and delivery people are feeling the sting of higher prices at the pump, so we’re rolling out a temporary fuel surcharge to help address record gas prices,” said Laura Miller, Head of Policy and Communications for Uber Canada. “This consumer surcharge will apply to rides and deliveries with 100% going directly to drivers and delivery people. Our hope is that this temporary measure will help ensure earnings remain high for drivers and delivery people. We’ll continue to listen to feedback and make changes if needed.”
Uber states that 100 per cent of its new surcharge will "go directly to drivers and delivery people" and is temporary. It will be in place for "at least 60 days" as the company monitors gas prices.