Uber Launches New Delivery Services Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 20, 2020
SF-based Uber announced two new delivery services amid COVID-19 pandemic
Photo: Uber

Uber has announced it will be adding two new services — Uber Direct and Uber Connect — to its suite of offerings starting Monday in response to shifting demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has already introduced other extensions and changes over the last several weeks. In addition to its traditional ride-hailing services, drivers have been transporting personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers and delivering groceries. Plus, Uber Eats has seen a surge in use since U.S. cities began initiating lockdown orders. Similarly, these two new services are meant to make life in quarantine easier and give drivers an additional revenue stream.

Uber Direct will look different depending on where you live. For example, through a partnership with Cabinet, drivers will be able to deliver over-the-counter medications to people living in New York City. In Portugal, the service is essentially a supplement for the public post service. In Australia, drivers can deliver pet supplies thanks to a partnership with Greencross. Uber has also partnered with the Western Cape Department of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver medication in South Africa. According to the company, more than 25,0000 people in South Africa have received medication through this service in just the last two weeks.

Uber Connect is meant to provide same-day, no-contact, last-mile deliveries. The service allows users to quickly send things like care packages and toilet paper to family and friends living nearby. Connect is available in more than 25 cities across Australia, Mexico and the United States.

Overall, as conventional services like Amazon and Instacart see unprecedented delays because of this pandemic, alternative delivery options like these could potentially ease the burden.

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