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Downtown construction is slowing down delivery drivers, so they're finding new ways around it

One delivery driver said she is using backroads and side streets.
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Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 20:21:45-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Mary Lord has been a delivery driver for Total Takeout for about a year and a half. She has a full-time job during the week and will sometimes deliver in the evenings, and often, she also works the busier weekend shifts.

Lord said it's about eight hours of driving.

“On a busy day, I will deliver maybe 15 orders on my own," she said.

Lord drives to restaurants, picks up orders, and delivers them to customers around Indianapolis. She finds the job relaxing and enjoyable.

“Playing music, being in my own little zone, and delivering happiness to people because they love their food,” Lord said.

But over the last several weeks, the job has been a little more stressful. Construction projects causing traffic backups, and delivery delays.

“It’s frustrating dealing with one lane and people that don’t know how to drive in the construction,” Lord said. “Most orders are supposed to take 45 minutes or less. Now, it’s taking like, an hour and we don’t like that we want to get the food to the people.”

Lord has adjusted to try and ensure orders are delivered as quickly as possible. She leaves early for pickups, and she tries new routes to avoid heavy traffic.

“You do find the backways and the side streets,” she said.

Lord explained how delivering in the downtown area can be the biggest challenge because of the semi-trucks that are detoured off the highway and into the Indianapolis streets.

“My biggest pet peeve is the semi-trucks that come downtown and a five minute process turns into a 15-minute process,” she said.

But Lord tries to be patient with drivers, just like customers are patient with her. So far the added drive time is not impacting her tips or the number of orders coming in.

“Most of our customers are very loyal customers and very understanding customers…so that’s the bright side of it. When we are later than normal all we can do is apologize and hope they are forgiving,” Lord said.

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