In cities all over the world, e-bikes, scooters, and motorcycles are the primary vehicles used for food delivery. They efficiently connect restaurants to hungry customers who order through food delivery apps. However, there is a significant difference when it comes to the food delivery industry in North America. To gain a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by food delivery riders in the US, I embarked on a day-long journey as a food delivery rider in south beach, Miami.
As an electric bike journalist and YouTuber, I traded in my usual day job for a day of Doordashing on a Lectric XP 3.0 folding e-bike. This bike is well-suited for food delivery, with its affordable price, low frame, and durable fat tires ideal for navigating city streets and obstacles.
Although making money was not my primary goal, I wanted to gain valuable experience and insights into the food delivery process in the US. While certain cities like New York City have embraced e-bike delivery methods, the majority of the US has been slow to adapt.
Delivering food on an e-bike proved to be a challenging endeavor in terms of earning a substantial income. Throughout the day, I completed nearly a dozen orders from various establishments. In total, I earned $48.75, including tips, which amounted to approximately $10.80 per hour. This is significantly lower than the minimum wage in Florida, where I was riding.
One of the main obstacles to earning more money was the lack of offers from the app. Despite waiting in designated “hot spots,” significant waiting times passed before low-paying offers were received.
Additionally, there seems to be a preference for delivery car drivers over e-bike riders. This assertion is supported by anecdotal evidence from other delivery workers who have observed the same trend. It appears that low-paying orders are often overlooked by car drivers before being offered to e-bike riders.
Another obstacle encountered during the day was the lack of accommodation from car drivers. Unlike my experience in Tel Aviv, where bikes share the road with cars, US drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with two-wheelers. While some areas in Miami had bike lanes, they often offered little protection from cars. In California, where I have experienced more considerate drivers, it is required by law for them to make space for e-bikes and motorcycles. However, this is not the case in many other parts of the US.
Despite the challenges faced during my day as a food delivery rider in Miami, I was fortunate to avoid hostile driving behaviors. However, these dangers are a reality for many cyclists in the US. It is crucial for cyclists to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings when sharing the road with cars.
1. Why are e-bike delivery methods not as prevalent in the US?
E-bike delivery methods are not as prevalent in the US due to various factors, including a lack of infrastructure, preference for delivery car drivers, and lower wages for e-bike riders.
2. What challenges do food delivery riders face in the US?
Food delivery riders in the US face challenges such as low wages, limited offers from delivery apps, and a lack of accommodation from car drivers.
3. Are e-bike riders at risk of accidents with cars?
Yes, e-bike riders in the US face the risk of accidents with cars due to inadequate infrastructure and drivers not accustomed to sharing the road with two-wheelers. It is essential for riders to prioritize safety and remain vigilant.
4. Which US city has embraced e-bike delivery methods?
New York City is one of the few US cities that have embraced e-bike delivery methods, with a significant number of food deliveries being made by e-bike riders.