With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, many businesses have been hurt, including ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. With people staying home, there is little call for rideshares. In fact, Uber is reportedly expecting losses of $17 million to $22 million in the first quarter and $60 million to $80 million in the second quarter.
While rideshares are down, people are ordering delivery more and more. Uber Eats saw as much as 10% growth even by the end of March in some cities. To capitalize on the need for delivery options, Uber is introducing two new delivery services: Uber Direct and Uber Connect.
Uber Direct will be similar to Uber Eats, but with a broader spectrum of products that can be delivered to your door. Customers will be able to order grocery store and convenience store items and possibly even some prescription medications from pharmacies. All orders will be contact-free. So far, it has only rolled out in New York City in the United States. Other cities are expected to be added soon, but no list has been provided.
Uber Connect will serve as a point-to-point direct delivery service for packages. Have a buddy across town that couldn’t get their hands on toilet paper in time? Use Uber Direct to send a pack directly to them. The Uber press release says “It’s a cost effective same-day, no-contact delivery solution that keeps people feeling close, even when we’re apart.”
Uber Connect is currently available in 25 cities in the United States, Mexico and Australia. According to an Uber representative, the cities in the United States are Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; New Orleans; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; San Antonio; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.
As rideshares fall off, Uber has taken steps to help its drivers find other avenues for income, including working on their delivery side. Drivers looking to expand their income can opt-in via an app notification or an email, according to the Uber representative.
Uber has created the new Uber Work Hub in the Uber Driver App that not only lists any opening with Uber but also includes over a dozen other companies such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, UPS and Walgreens. They’ve also reached a partnership with Target and Domino’s Pizza to get some Uber drivers back on the road and doing deliveries.
Check out the Uber Work Hub to see what’s available in your city.
Tyler Omoth is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.