Starting Tuesday in New York City, Uber is rolling out a service that will allow customers to send items around Manhattan via an Uber employee, who will move products from A to B either by bike or foot.
TechCrunch reports that service, called UberRUSH, will appear on the Uber app for users in NYC beginning tomorrow. There will be a $15 base charge and an additional $5 for every “zone” that the delivery person travels through up to a maximum price of $30. Most deliveries will take under an hour and couriers will be available 24/7.
A job posting on Craigslist notes that employees will be given an iPhone 4S and can make up to $30 per hour by shuttling deliveries around town.
Uber’s NYC account hinted at UberRUSH in a tweet sent this past weekend:
We're rolling out some big news on Tuesday… pic.twitter.com/1pDPy8oV2p
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) April 5, 2014
It’s unclear if Uber has plans to offer this service in other cities. Here in Seattle, a new startup called RingARush just launched and is very similar to UberRUSH in that the company hires independent drivers to shuttle products around Seattle.
Uber has delivered Santa Claus‘ and kittens via its app, but never has the company offered a courier service. UberRUSH will compete against a flurry of delivery options in New York, including Gett, which has raised $52 million and just announced a partnership with WunWun, another on-demand startup.
We’ve reached out to Uber for more details on UberRUSH and will update when we hear back.
Update, 3:35 p.m.: Uber just penned a blog post on UberRUSH. As we noted above, the service is very similar to what Uber does for people who want to get around town, but for actual objects like keys or documents instead.
Here are more details:
- Messengers will deliver any product that a “normal human can carry.” They will be able to refuse service due to the size/value/fragility/illegal nature of a given product. Uber will cover lost or damaged items up to $250.
- Just like with normal Uber, you can follow your delivery and share an ETA with the recipient. “ETAs are estimates and may be inaccurate at first, but GPS will show messenger’s location,” Uber notes.
- Uber requires that either someone be at the delivery location for pickup or a text message from the sender indicating that “no recipient is necessary.” If the sender does not provide that text message and no one is available to pick up after five minutes from the arrival time, the sender will pay a cancelation fee — in additional to the full fare — and have the item returned.
- UberRUSH messengers will go through a background check, an in-person interview and will be evaluated by “ongoing quality controls.”
- Uber will donate $1 from every delivery to the Bike Messenger Emergency Fund, a non-profit that helps out bicycle messengers who are hurt on the job.
- Unlike services like Postmates, UberRUSH Messengers cannot purchase items for delivery.
- As noted above, UberRUSH will cover five zones in Manhatten. Each zone crossed is an extra $5 on top of the $15 base fare. Here are those five zones: