Panic-buying at the pump leaves local delivery drivers concerned but cashing in

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Posted at 4:17 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 17:22:38-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Food delivery drivers are feeling the impacts of the recent swarm of drivers panic-buying fuel.

“I was running low on gas… I had to skip a gas station and go wait at another gas station for 20 minutes because the line was so long,” said DoorDash driver Rehman Shafi.

The long waits have been spurred by a cyberattack shutting down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies gas to many states along the East Coast.

“First it was toilet paper, now it’s gas, so apparently it’s getting pretty serious," said DoorDash driver Brandon Dwight.

DoorDash delivery drivers say they were caught off guard by the sudden pile up at the pump Tuesday, leaving them losing time and money trying to fill up during the day.

Shafi thinks he missed out on a couple deliveries while waiting at the gas station.

Dwight and Shafi are both happily taking the good with the bad - for now.

DoorDash drivers were able to make an extra $4.50 per delivery around lunchtime in Norfolk.

Dwight says he normally averages about $15 an hour but made $20 in about 30 minutes Wednesday.

Other nearby cities were offering an extra $3 per delivery on DoorDash, not including tips, Wednesday afternoon.

“I’ve never seen it more than three dollars [extra per delivery] on a Friday night— and that’s on a Friday night in Norfolk and downtown, so this is a lunch shift where you never see stuff like this,” explained Dwight.

Extra time in line at the pump is worth the wait for some drivers looking to cash in while they can.

Related: Local car care expert weighs in on tips to conserve fuel

“If I get down to maybe half a tank, I’ll probably try to play it safe and do some dashing around my house,” said Dwight. “That way, I’m at least home, and if I get down to a quarter tank, then try to go get gas, and if I can’t, then I’m just not going to do it anymore. I’ll just wait until things kind of slow down a little bit.”