Uber Tired Of Customers Using Cars As Couriers, Begins Testing Actual Courier Service

One could argue that Uber is a type of courier service, right? They’ve delivered Christmas Trees, kittens to brighten your day and of course shuttled you across the city. Well, you won’t have to argue the merits of that point anymore now that the company has officially began testing Uber Rush – an actual courier service.

The new service operates much like a traditional courier service and uses the Uber app technology already at play with the company’s car service, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

The ability to easily traverse Manhattan without cars made it the ideal city to test the new service, Uber officials say. If things go well the service would first expand to additional New York City boroughs and then possibly other large cities.

While officials with the company wouldn’t say how many couriers they have on the roster, they say it’s enough to make delivery reliable. However, the company is currently recruiting bicycle and pedestrian messengers to deliver your packages.

Prices for the service range from $15 to $30, depending on how far the item must travel. As always, Uber takes their standard 20% commission for each delivery.

Launching the new service seemed like a reasonable next step for the company, officials say.

“No one was getting it quite right on the messenger service piece, and we were seeing people use Uber cars to move things,” says Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York, tells Bloomberg.

So how does the new service stack up against the old standbys? Not too bad, as it turns out.

A Bloomberg reporter enlisted Uber Rush’s services to deliver a test package containing a book, a granola bar, and a dollar bill from the Bloomberg office at East 59th Street and Lexington Avenue to a friend who works near Battery Bark City.

The delivery was quoted at $25 and promised to be delivered within 90 minutes.

Ten minutes after putting out the call on the Uber app a courier showed up at the Bloomberg offices, although without a helmet.

After a little research the reporter found the prices were slightly higher than standard courier rates, but lower than rush rates.

All in all, the package was delivered to the friend’s office building intact within 90 minutes of pick-up.

Uber Expands Into Courier Service WIth Manhattan-Only Pilot [Bloomberg Businessweek]