Uber, Lyft drivers pinched by higher gasoline prices | AFP

After a two-year dive, oil prices began recovering in spring 2016 and have stayed higher amid OPEC production agreements and rising global demand.

The oil market has recently gotten a lift from the uncertainty generated by the US pullout from the Iran nuclear accord and by ongoing strife in Venezuela.

Under the systems set up by Uber and Lyft, the companies set prices for clients and pay levels for drivers that are not automatically affected by fluctuations in gasoline prices.

The rideshare companies are too new to have experienced an all-out spike in gasoline prices, such as when US gasoline prices rose above $4.00 a gallon in June 2008 shortly before the financial crisis.

But the companies have established some programs to try to cushion the blow to drivers.

For example, Uber has created a debit card that gives drivers a three percent discount when they refill their cars at ExxonMobil gas stations. The discount is only 1.5 percent at other stations.

Uber also agreed to increase fares by five to 10 percent in certain US cities, such as Los Angeles and Washington, due in part to higher gasoline prices.

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Uber, Lyft drivers pinched by higher gasoline prices.