Uber is expanding its services today. The taxi app will now become a courier app too. Uber users can now track the delivery of various items through the Uber app.
Items will be delivered via bicycle and foot couriers for now. How do you sign up and where do you get it? Here are the details as released by Uber this morning.
Small Scale At First
The new Uber courier service will work solely in Manhattan, NYC, for now. After that, Uber may extend the service to other parts of the country depending on whether or not people sign up and use what Uber is offering. Speaking of what Uber is offering, here’s what you can’t do: you can’t ask an Uber courier to pay for an item. You can, however, ask a courier to pick up an item and deliver that item to you if you live in Manhattan.
As far as prices go, the base price is set at $15. If you need to have something delivered from one end of Manhattan to the other, that price will jump to $30. Since couriers are on bicycles, you can’t ask a courier from Uber to pick up an oversized item for you. But, you can ask Uber to go fetch any other package that you need as long as that package is in Manhattan. While Uber’s expansion is an interesting idea, one has to wonder if it’s necessary.
Who Will Use This Service?
There are a lot of companies that don’t offer delivery of items. You might need something that is only sold in one part of town, but you can’t get there today (even though you need it today). What can you do? You can use a service like Uber to get the item when you need it. But, couriers already exist. You can already call a courier service in any major city like New York City, and you can already get those couriers to pick up anything that you need delivered.
There’s also Task Rabbit to think about. You can pretty much use Task Rabbit to pick up any smaller item and have it delivered to you if you live in the U.S. So, why would you use a service like Uber? Maybe Uber’s app is simpler to use, maybe not. It’s hard to see the real need for this app extension, but maybe I’m missing something that investors clearly see. Uber has, after all, gained more than $400 million in investments over the years.
Uber does operate in various cities across the world, though NYC is where the company is focusing right now. Uber has chosen this market partly because New York regulations are a lot simpler to get around, though you might see Uber’s new courier service extend to a city near you sometime soon. It all depends on whether or not Uber is successful in New York.
Can you see a need for this service? Is Uber missing something here? Would you use it? I’m really curious to see whether or not I’m the only one thinking that Uber hasn’t planned this one right.