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Local delivery drivers feeling impacts of rising gas prices

Posted at 10:41 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 12:41:17-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — There’s no question about it, we’re all feeling the impacts of rising gas prices across the country. That also means people who drive for a living are hurting as well, including those who drive for third-party delivery services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, or Door Dash. However, some relief will soon be coming to those drivers.

Mary Duefrene-Chacon has been driving for Grubhub for about three years, and said at this point, she’s not sure how much longer she can afford to drive for the company.

She relies on tips and money she makes from delivering food. During the pandemic, she only had to drive four days to make ends meet, and now she’s having to drive six to seven days every week.

She says she has to fill up her gas tank every two-and-a-half days, and filling up her tank, takes about half of her pay.

She also mentioned that tips have been lower than years past, and she’s having to drive even further to make deliveries to places like Monument, Falcon or Peyton. As a result of all of this, she knows of other drivers who have been quitting.

“Because of the gas prices and low tips, GrubHub drivers are leaving, and they can't afford to work anymore. It's getting scary, and I don't know how much longer I'm going to deal with it. I don't know how it's gonna end up,” said Duefrene-Chacon. “It’s also a mess because I think some customers are angry because they’re not getting their food on time. Restaurants are packed, and now we’re getting double orders, which slows us down because we have to drive further for the next delivery.”

There are some relief for drivers coming. Lyft and Uber are adding temporary fuel surcharges on rides and deliveries. It’s an attempt to help drivers offset higher gas prices, that have been seen and felt across the country.

Uber’s surcharges go into affect today — Wednesday. Uber rides will cost anywhere from 45 to 55 cents more per trip, and Uber Eats customers will pay 35 to 45 cents extra for each delivery. The extra money will go directly to the drivers who pay out of pocket, and are responsible for filling their own tanks.

Lyft has not specified how much extra money passengers will pay or when the surcharge will go into effect. The company will be releasing more details in the upcoming days.

Grubhub is also increasing pay for drivers. The company has not said if that will be passed along to the customers in the form of a fee.

In a statement to News5, Grubhub also said they have partnerships with Gas Buddy and Car Advise. It gives drivers access to discounts on gas and car maintenance. The company also said they’ll continue to monitor the situation along with gas prices.

Meanwhile, Duefrene-Chacon says a bump in pay will help, but the impact of rising gas prices is still hurting her bottom line.

“The tips are really important to us. It’s our livelihood. I pay my rent with those tips, and it scared me because I might have to leave and go somewhere else,” said Duefrene-Chacon. “Have more patience. We’re bombarded with orders and not enough drivers. I’m willing to continue to work if customers have just a little more patience and pay a little more, that way drivers aren’t leaving and we aren’t having this problem.”