Rising gas prices impacting delivery services, drivers in eastern Iowa

As gas prices continue to rise across the U.S., those who spend much time driving in their cars are feeling the hit when they are at the pumps.
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 8:08 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - As gas prices continue to rise across the U.S. amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine, those who spend much time driving in their cars are feeling the hit when they are at the pumps.

Delivery drivers are a big deal at Jimmy John’s.

”They are absolutely essential,” Sam Conlon, the general manager at the Jimmy John’s on Main Street in Dubuque, said. “Last week, for example, we did $11,000 in delivery.”

Conlon added the store is struggling to find those essential delivery drivers and, considering they have to use their own cars to deliver sandwiches, rising gas prices will not do them any favors.

”It is not cheap to maintain a car, especially a car that you are grinding with, you know, you are using five, six days a week to deliver sandwiches to customers,” he mentioned. “So, when the price of gas goes up, you have less money in your pockets to take care of other things related to keeping your car up.”

That is something Nate Runde is well aware of. Runde started working with DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats about a year ago.

”I have run probably about 2,000 to 2,500 deliveries or so over the last year by working about 30 to 35 hours a week,” he explained.

He said it is a job that allows him to spend quality time with his daughter, but it is also a job that has become very expensive.

”I fill up my car probably three or four times a week, I imagine, on average and it is definitely becoming a whole different equation now than it was when I first started,” he added.

When he first started he was not paying four dollars a gallon for gas and experts say gas prices may keep rising after President Joe Biden ordered a ban on Russian oil imports.

”The gas prices have just made it absolutely insane paying four dollars a gallon,” Runde commented. “Suddenly a simple trip across town you have got to figure out a lot more variables to figure out for yourself whether or not is worth it and this job is also expensive because you have got to pay for insurance, car maintenance and all the other things that go into it.”

And whether or not it is worth it is something that is very present on his mind nowadays.

”I wish that I could be delivering more but it seems like the market is definitely pushing me away from this job,” Runde confessed.

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