Back in April, Uber was scrambling to provide something for its users who were no longer ordering ride-shares because, well, many of us were stuck at home. The service quickly added a delivery service called Uber Connect for users to send essential supplies and items to nearby friends and family, but only in a few U.S. cities and other countries.
Now, as another COVID surge hits the U.S., Uber Connect is available for sending (and receiving) packages in thousands of new locations. It’s arriving in 2,400 U.S. cities this week, just in time for the holidays as many places shut down again.
It’ll be available in cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Columbus, Detroit, Fort Myers-Naples, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Richmond, Portland, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and Tucson.
Uber Connect is now front and center in the app. If you’re in an Uber Connect location, you’ll see a “Package” option next to the “Ride” and “Food” buttons. The package icon is Uber Connect.
For sending out a holiday gift or a box of chocolate chip cookies, you put in your recipient’s address and contact info. When a delivery driver arrives at your location, you meet at the curb and put the items in the trunk to keep it a contactless experience. On the other end the recipient is notified when the package arrives if they have the Uber app. You can still deliver something to someone without Uber, it just might take a bit more coordination.
The driver has contact information for both the giver and receiver if there’s an issue, and everything can be tracked on the Uber app. It’s similar to the map that comes up when you order a car.
For a not-so-subtle nudge, Uber also has a “receive a package” feature to request a delivery from someone. This could be used as a present request, but it’s probably more helpful for someone quarantining.
So even if you’re not ordering many ride-hails these days, you can still use the Uber app for dropping off gifts and supplies.