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Why That Delivered Pizza Costs More

May 4, 2007 Bicycling, Economy, Environment, Scooters 13 Comments

As summer approaches so do escalating gasoline prices. My car gets over 30mpg in the city and I use my 85+mpg scooter whenever I can. Many of you may be thinking you can handle the gas prices too. But what about the cost of getting a pizza delivered? From KSDK:

Adam Soiab, a delivery driver for Joanie’s Pizza in the Soulard area of St. Louis, said the price hike is unsettling, considering he spends most of his time on the road.

“That’s the main thing I do. I get in my car and drive. So needless to say, I use a lot of gasoline.”

The company includes a $1.50 delivery surcharge to help offset soaring prices.

Wait, another buck fifty? This is simply the tip of the iceburg salad! Look for more fuel charges from other fuel intensive businesses. I can’t really blame them, the restuarants and their delivery folks are just trying to earn a living. Remember, those pizza delivery guys can’t afford a new hybrid Prius. But maybe, for close deliveries, businesses can look to more efficient modes such as bicycles and scooters.

I’d much rather pay the extra $1.50 so they can buy a scooter for deliveries.

So now is a good time for some predictions. I think, come this Fall, we will not see the gas prices dip back below $3/gallon for extended periods. The demand is too high, the supply to scarce, the extraction of more too costly. Get used to paying at least $3/gallon for gas and extra to have that pizza delivered.

Or is this simply my own wishful thinking as sweet justice to all those Hummer drivers living in exurban ranch houses an hour from the CBD? Maybe… Refineries are down at the moment but they could be back up by fall. Cost of exploration and drilling is certainly up but with increased prices for a barrel of oil it makes it more fiscally worth while to use various extraction methods. The incentives to create new more efficient technologies will increase.

I certainly do hope, along the way, people will think maybe a walk or bike ride to the store (or local pizza place) would be kinda nice.


Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. I forget who it is, but one of the importers/re-badgers of Chinese scooters in the US market even sells a model with a built-in trunk compartment which looks specifically designed for pizza/food delivery.
    I believe it’s even heated as an option. Some even have a full windshield and roof over the rider, keeping them more protected from the elements.

  2. Jim Zavist says:

    Actually, the biggest US problem is refining capacity. Being the classic NIMBY conundrum, no new refineries have been built in 30 years in the states, so any glitch has a major impact on supply and prices jump. Right now, Colorado is experiencing spot shortages due to one refinery fire in the Texas panhandle.

    As for predictions, I agree it’s going to get worse before it ever gets better. We’re growing our population by a third over the next thirty years or so, while “developing” nations like China and India are making “great strides” in becoming motorized. Supply and demand will dictate price (as it should). At some point there will be a tipping point where suburban commuting starts to look more and more ludicrous . . .

  3. “Supply and demand will dictate price (as it should).”
    precicely… so, what’s the REAL reason there haven’t been any new refineries built in the last 20-30 years or so??

  4. Price will remain high because demand for gasoline never decreases. Given sprawl, demand is increasing. Why would they lower prices when we must use cars, as mass transit is not adequate?

  5. jj says:

    Jimmy John’s by SLU has a delivery guy on a bicycle.

  6. ? says:

    I question the excuse that we have higher gas prices because new refineries haven’t been allowed to be built. Which group has the stronger lobby, big oil or environmentalist? Oil companies may be saying this is the reason, but more likely it’s because it doesn’t make financial sense for them to build new refineries and they don’t want the public to blame them for high gas prices. Now why it wouldn’t make sense for them to build new refineries….that’s another debate.

  7. Brian Wahby says:

    I will gladly pay $1.50 to have my Joannie’s Pizza delivered…. have you ever had Joannie’s? It’s the best pizza around. Friday night at our house is and has been Joannie’s and a movie for years!
    We will recycle the box!

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I live too far away to get Joannie’s delivered but you are right — excellent pizza (and pasta, calzone, & salad).  I love their patio!]

  8. Tim says:

    Her’es the good news. Adjusted for inflation the price of gas in 1981 was $2.74. Yes, less than todays price. But when you figure in the amount of disposable income today gas would have to be $4.30 to equal the same impact. Of course to fill up the tank of my new International mycxt.com/internationalcxt.html either way it hurts.

    You can’t repeal the law of supply and demand. But repealing the “summer gas” would eliminate the need to shut down every year at this time.

  9. john says:

    Talk about creating a serious liability issue for a business, this may be it! Sending delivery guys out on their bikes in our unfriendly environment would be begging for a lawsuit. Biking could be convenient and wonderful if the StL area if it wasn’t so unfriendly and auto-dependent.

    Let’s hope someday the roads will be designed as complete streets. However, not much hope for the area in the forseeable future, or for delivery on bikes, as numerous opportunities are being missed by our local advocacy groups. Few in our area “get it”, especially leadership and MoDOT is a disaster. Even favored streets used by cyclists are being made more dangerous. Lanes are being narrowed and additional motorized traffic is being diverted to side streets. A few more “share” signs will not offset the impact of creating more auto-dependency.

  10. Scooterjo says:


    Yet another great article about the efficiency of scooters. Most trips taken in cars could easily be taken on a scooter or a bike. With a backpack and a scooter “trunk” there is no reason someone could not carry a week’s worth of groceries with them

    Scooters and bikes also create community. When people see me on my scooter they want to know about it and its gas mileage of course.

    The problem with getting employers to take to scooters as means of delivering food is the lack of imaginative thinking endemic to the business community, especially that in the midwest and St Louis in particular. In my opinion any pizza place that took to using scooters for delivery would make for a nice human interest story on what passes for news stations in this area.

    SCOOT ON!!!!

  11. Frank says:

    Hey Steve,
    I grew up in St. Louis and lived in New York for nine years and am now back in St. Louis. In New York, everything is really dense, so if you can ride 5 miles, you basically have the whole city and Brooklyn covered. I was worried when I moved back that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere on a bike (I now own a car, but hate driving). It’s been great, the 5 mile rule totally applies to St. Louis as well and the drivers here are like cuddly bunnies compared to what I’ve had to deal with. I’ve toyed with the idea of riding a scooter, but I enjoy the exercise too much and can carry a heck of a lot in my messenger bag anyway.

    I was really glad when I stumbled onto this site of yours. It’s great to see St. Louis city broken down from an urban planning perspective. I plan to keep reading.

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