Uber, the app-based on-demand car service, has launched a courier service in Manhattan as a test piece that could eventually expand throughout the New York area and into other cities.
The new service, called RUSH, is an experiment rolled out from the "Uber Garage," a workshop where the startup tests new ideas. Uber has experimented with the delivery of things (
ice cream trucks
) in the past. Most of those efforts came off as schemes to generate press. This time, the pilot seems like a credible attempt to for them to transform from an on-demand car service to an urban logistics business.
For now, the courier service is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays in all of Manhattan below 110th. Uber says it's working to expand coverage quickly.
Unlike its traditional service, which connects drivers and would-be passengers, UberRUSH messengers will be picking up and dropping off packages on bike or on foot. No cars here.
Users can choose RUSH in the Uber app and make a request by placing a pin at the pickup address. In theory, a messenger should arrive in minutes to pick up the item and delivery instructions. Once the courier leaves, the user can track their progress in the Uber app.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com