Last night, Uber, the company that has become infamous for saving us from the grips of shitty taxi cabs everywhere, announced that it will expand further into the general delivery space through a courier service — rather than just humans, Uber will now help deliver actual things! Called UberRUSH, the service will offer limited operability in Manhattan (specifically, below 110th Street).
UberRUSH has gone live on Uber’s regular mobile app (available only during this live testing period). Similar to Uber’s regular service, it will team up with independently contracted bicycle couriers (rather than employees) to make the deliveries. Pricing is based on how far an item must travel, with the service area divided into five sub-zones. The base charge is $15 plus an extra $5 per every additional zone boundary crossing. And, apropos of business hours, UberRUSH will only be available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Uber hasn’t specified how large their fleet is, at the moment; however, VentureBeat reports that the company is paying between $20-$30 an hour. If you’re interested in signing up as a bicycle courier, you’ll need to go through Uber’s high standards, and you must undergo a stringent background check, in-person interview and screening, and ongoing quality controls (again, similar to their standards for current Uber drivers).
UberRush is like when Amazon first revealed it was no longer *just* a bookstore. Now comes a steady march toward global domination.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) April 8, 2014
While quick and reliable couriers are needed in Manhattan, this recent move by Uber marks an important stage for the company. Rather than being known merely for its car dispatch service, Uber is dipping its toes into the grander scheme of navigating urban logistics with great efficiency. With that specialization in mind, and with this recent initiative, it will be exciting to see what other projects Uber can come up with in the future.