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Gopuff app snubs traffic laws delivering snacks in Manhattan


Recent Yorkers’ love-hate relationship with fast grocery delivery apps is becoming more heated as one in all the largest has begun using cars along with bicycles and scooters, The Post has learned.

Deep-pocketed startup Gopuff is on a hiring binge to recruit delivery employees who drive cars, at the same time as surging congestion in town slows traffic to a crawl — and a few locals complain that idling and double-parked delivery cars are “ruining” their “quality of life.”

On the Upper East Side, Gopuff drivers frequently sit of their cars across the road from a Gopuff location on Lexington Avenue between East 89th and East ninetieth Streets for as much as half-hour at a time, neighbors say.

The identical unmarked cars repeatedly park in front of a residential constructing and stores while the drivers wait for packages to deliver — however the space is zoned for industrial vehicles to make stops and deliveries, neighbors complain. Cars picking up Gopuff goods don’t have the required industrial license plates, locals gripe.

The drivers also enter through the worker entrance of the shop, indicating that they aren’t customers, neighbors say.

Gopuff told The Post that it does use cars for deliveries within the outer boroughs but said that “delivering orders by automobile in Manhattan is a violation of our stated expectations.”

Marco Botarelli, who lives across from the shop at 1349 Lexington Ave., disputes Gopuff’s claim.

“They’re loitering of their cars with their music playing,” Botarelli told The Post in reference to Gopuff drivers. “And there are never any spots for us if we’d like to park in front of our constructing for a couple of minutes.”

“They’re loitering of their cars with their music playing,” Carnegie Hill resident Marco Botarelli griped about GopuffWilliam C. Lopez/NYPOST

Local business owners are also fed up with the situation.

“The plumbers, the food vendors and other trades employees who’ve proper plates can’t park in front of the companies that they’re servicing due to these cars,” said John Miklatek, who owns a health food store called Food Liberation on the block.

Neighbors say Gopuff has used cars in Recent York since at the very least February, when Carnegie Hill City Councilmember Julie Menin sent a letter to its co-founders and CEOs, Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, to complain about “Gopuff delivery vehicles remaining double parked for lengthy periods of time, trapping residents’ cars until delivery drivers finally come to maneuver their vehicles.”

Gopuff told Menin it will review the automobile complaints.

GopuffGopuff drivers are parking in industrial vehicle spaces despite not having the suitable plates. William C. Lopez/NYPOST

“It’s vital to Gopuff that we’re good neighbors,” Gopuff said. “This includes listening to and dealing with our neighbors to handle any concerns they might have — something we frequently do.”

Menin has submitted a legislative request to control the industry via the Department of Consumer Affairs, which might issue licenses to those businesses.

“You possibly can’t have unlicensed cars that take over a block and neighborhoods with none regulation,” Menin told The Post.

The news comes after months of complaints from neighbors and native politicos about delivery employees on electric bikes and scooters flouting traffic laws, as reported by The Post. Menin said that she and her three-year-old daughter were nearly run over by a delivery driver riding a moped on the sidewalk.

Yakir Gola, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, GopuffCarnegie Hill City Council member Julie Menin sent a letter to Gopuff’s co-founders and CEOs Yakir Gola (pictured) and Rafael Ilishayev to complain about delivery vehicles. AFP via Getty Images

Gopuff’s previously unreported use of cars in Recent York City has been so under the radar that even one in all the industry’s biggest critics, City Councilmember Gale Brewer, was unaware that it was using drivers.

“If Gopuff is using cars for deliveries, they’re exacerbating congestion and pollution,” Brewer told The Post, accusing Gopuff and other startups of “coming into town upending local laws and extracting what they’ll from our neighborhoods.”

Over the past week, Gopuff has posted listings across online job boards for delivery drivers, including in specific Recent York neighborhoods equivalent to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, NoHo, Upper West Side and Seaport, in addition to Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

Gopuff insisted to The Post that it’s not actually hiring drivers in Manhattan and that the ads were meant to draw bike couriers.

GopuffGopuff offers fast delivery of groceries and other home goods. Courtesy of Gopuff

The listings say that drivers have to be at the very least 21 years old and have their very own vehicles with proof of insurance. 

Fellow grocery delivery apps Gorillas, Getir and Jokr all confirmed to The Post that they never use cars for deliveries in Recent York. 

Sarah Kaufman, a transit expert and professor at Recent York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation, said she was baffled by the choice to make use of cars for deliveries in traffic-clogged Manhattan.

“I’m frankly surprised that they find it more efficient to make use of a automobile, especially in Manhattan, than to make use of other modes of transport because I imagine they’re spending much of that point sitting in traffic,” Kaufman told The Post. “Adding cars to Recent York City streets is the final thing we would like to do right away, so I’m dissatisfied to listen to that that is going on.”

But Brittain Ladd, a retail consultant who has worked with rapid delivery corporations, said that switching to automobile deliveries could make sense to assist the corporate cut costs amid pressure from investors.

While distributing several orders with one driver will likely raise delivery times for Gopuff customers, especially in ultra-congested neighborhoods just like the Lower East Side, Ladd said that making several deliveries out of 1 vehicle means lower labor costs. A single driver can handle several deliveries at the identical time, while bike couriers are more limited in what they’ll carry, based on Ladd.

“The model is broken,” the consultant said in reference to delivery apps that depend on bike and scooter couriers. “Gopuff is just experimenting with changing the model in an attempt to cut back their costs.”

Gopuff“Gopuff is just experimenting with changing the model in an attempt to cut back their costs,” retail consultant Brittain Ladd said.William C. Lopez/NYPOST

Gopuff’s shift to drivers comes weeks after the corporate laid off a whole bunch of employees in an try to cut costs amid an economic slump that’s making it difficult for unprofitable tech firms to boost money. 

Similar publicly traded corporations like Doordash and Grubhub parent Just Eat Takeaway have seen their stock prices collapse by 55% or more thus far this 12 months, raising the pressure on private delivery apps like Gopuff to justify their valuations. The shift to drivers could also be designed to assist placate “impatient” investors who want the corporate to chop additional costs, Ladd said.

Gopuff previously raised money at a $15 billion valuation in July 2021 but has since seen its valuation on the secondary market tank, The Post exclusively reported in March.

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