Mar 16, 2022 - News

Uber and Lyft add fuel surcharges as SXSW pushes Austin demand

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As South by Southwest-goers rely on rideshare apps to get around the city, Uber and Lyft have announced that they’ll add a fuel surcharge on rides to help drivers at the pump.

Why it matters: The cost of fuel is on the rise, and local drivers are feeling the effects of a system that makes them responsible for covering their own gas. Plus, in arguably one of the busiest times of the year for ridesharing locally, passengers are likely to be eyeing the cost of a trip.

  • Uber's surcharge will begin Wednesday, with rides costing an additional $0.45-$0.55 per trip depending on the market. The company also plans to add a fee for its Uber Eats delivery app.
  • Lyft, which announced the change Monday, has not revealed the cost of the temporary surcharge and when it will go into effect for riders.

By the numbers: Research firm YipitData, which examines rideshare costs and demand across the country, doesn't have data on the impact of the fuel surcharge yet, but figures from last month can help riders know what to expect.

YipitData found that an average Austin ride last month cost $17.79 — up 13% from the year prior.

  • When normalized for distance, rides were actually slightly cheaper in February 2022 than one year ago — down 2% to $2.45 per mile — likely because driver shortages began last February.
  • But charges per mile grew by 12% when comparing last month to Feb. 2020.

The average price for gas in Travis County as of Tuesday was $3.99, per data from AAA.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more