Customers paying about $.50 more per order to support drivers during gas spike

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KWWL) – The price of gas had dipped slightly in Iowa in recent days, but it is still up 50 cents over the last month.

“Usually my tank is like 40 dollars, so the jump was like straight up to 50,” Jonathan Jackson said, a driver for CHOMP delivery service in Johnson and Linn counties.

According to AAA, the average price of gas is $3.89 per gallon in Iowa, up from $3.38 one month ago. Iowa is still the seventh cheapest state in the country at this point.

“I’m glad I’m not in another part of the country, because then it would be like 7 dollars,” Jackson said, who is originally from Portland.

Across the country, all of the big rideshare and delivery companies have instituted “driver surcharge fees” in recent days, charging customers a little bit more but passing it on to their drivers.

Uber is charging customers either $.45 or $.55 more per ride based on where they live, and charging people either $.35 or $.45 more for Uber Eats.

Lyft is doing something similar, while DoorDash is offering bonuses to drivers (without having higher prices) based on how much they drive.

CHOMP is charging customers $.50 more if their trip takes a driver more than 2 miles from the restaurant to their house. Managers say it increases slightly for distances above 2 miles.

“We’re more then happy to make something happen, and fortunately, the customers completely understood,” CHOMP co-founder Adam Weeks said.

Once CHOMP posted the news on Facebook, several people commented they were in favor of the move.

Jackson took one order six miles Thursday night and still got an $8 tip on top of it.

“People have been really appreciative of delivery drivers ever since COVID started,” Jackson said. “We have a great customer base.”

Weeks says it’s hard to imagine taking the surcharge away anytime soon, and they could do more measures to support drivers in the coming weeks.

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