Consumers expected to pay more for services amid record-breaking gas prices

Click to play video: 'Rising gas costs trickle down to consumers'
Rising gas costs trickle down to consumers
It is a rising cost that will impact everyone in one way or another--even if you don't drive a vehicle. We're talking about the price of gas. Many companies rely heavily on fuel to do business and will have no choice but to pass those skyrocketing costs to the consumer. Klaudia Van Emmerik reports. – Mar 8, 2022

With the cost of a litre of regular gas hovering near or, in some cases, above the two-dollar mark in the Okanagan, businesses that rely heavily on fuel are feeling the pain.

“It’s hard on business. Very hard,” said Faith Kerik, assistant manager with NINJAnow.

NINJAnow is an Okanagan company that delivers pretty much anything across the valley.

“We deliver alcohol, cigarettes, prescriptions, diapers; anything that you’re at home and you’re like, ‘I really need this but I can’t go outside,'” Kerik said.

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A big part of its business, though, is the delivery of take-out food.

NINJAnow has partnered with numerous restaurants and delivers their take-out.

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Last week, it had to reluctantly adjust its delivery-fee structure based solely on the rising cost of fuel.

“From zero to five kilometres is $6. It used to be zero to eight km was $6,” Kerik said. “So we had to raise the prices a little bit that way, by lowering the kilometres that our drivers drive.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. will not follow Alberta’s lead by reducing tax'
B.C. will not follow Alberta’s lead by reducing tax

Despite having incentives, including a gas top-up program, NINJAnow said some drivers, who are responsible for their own fuel, are choosing to temporarily walk away.

“In the last week, we’ve actually lost six drivers because of the gas prices. But I think they’ll be back as long as we can go down in gas prices eventually,” she said.

Many courier companies are experiencing similar challenges.

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“The gas prices obviously are going up and they’re affecting everybody in the area,” said Ian MacLeod, owner and operator of Delivery Masters. “We’re just hoping that it’s a short-term issue.”

MacLeod said he hasn’t had to raise prices yet, but may be forced to if the high cost of gas becomes permanent or continues its upward trend.

“If that means looking at re-negotiating our prices that we’ve been able to keep constant throughout the pandemic, then we might have to make some slight fare increases,” MacLeod told Global News.

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At Checkmate Cabs, director of operations Rory Anderson said it now costs double what it did just four months ago to fill up a vehicle.

“If gas was $20 to fill a car at the end of the shift, it’s now costing $40 to fill the car at the end of the shift,” Anderson said.

He added that gone are the days when it would be easy to flag down a passing cab, as most now sit in one spot while waiting to be called out.

“It’s affecting flags because the cars are not driving around town looking for fares,” he said.

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The rising cost of fuel may be passed down to passengers soon.

The B.C. taxi industry says it’s calling on B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board to allow a temporary fuel surcharge on taxi fares to help soften the blow from the record-breaking gas prices.

“That’s exactly what it would look like, passing it on,” Anderson said. “The passenger would pay more.”

Click to play video: 'Expanding impact of record gas prices in B.C.'
Expanding impact of record gas prices in B.C.

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