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How to use Uber’s new package delivery and same-day courier service

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve probably been relying on delivery quite a bit more lately. By staying at home and ordering in, you’re helping to flatten the curve, as well as reducing your risk of exposure.

And for America’s delivery services, business is booming. In fact, delivery drivers are one of the few jobs that are still hiring right this moment in spite of the coronavirus crisis. Tap or click here to see what other jobs are hiring now.

Even though delivery drivers are doing well, that doesn’t mean all kinds of gig-economy drivers are. Rideshare workers have suffered tremendous losses, which is why Uber is moving to introduce a new service that turns its drivers into delivery-people. You don’t even need to download an app to use the new feature! Here’s how.

Meet Uber Direct and Uber Connect

In light of COVID-19, Uber is introducing two brand new services to users in select cities across the world. These services give Uber drivers the ability to keep working and provide much-needed delivery options for housebound people who are either under lockdown or voluntarily social distancing.

The first service, Uber Direct, is currently only available in New York, Portugal, Australia and South Africa, but it may be expanding elsewhere soon. The service lets users get OTC medicine, parcels and pet supplies delivered to their doorsteps in a safe, contact-free manner.

To make this possible, Uber is partnering with Cabinet drug stores in New York, the Portuguese national postal service, and the Green Cross in Australia. Users in the above areas will see options to utilize the service when the ride-select screen appears in the Uber app.

Uber Connect, on the other hand, is already expanding to several more cities — 25 in total. The service, which is also bundled into the vanilla Uber app, lets users hail a driver to act as their personal courier. They can deliver packages to an address of your choice as quickly as an ordinary Uber ride would take. And once again, the service is contact-free.

If your family across town is in desperate need of toilet paper and you have a steady supply on hand, it’s the perfect way to send them a care package. Tap or click here to see Kim’s guide to using Uber during COVID-19.

How can I use these new services?

As we mentioned above, you don’t have to take any extras steps or download a new app to use either Uber Direct or Uber Connect. The services are limited, however, to specific areas.

For Uber Direct, you can get your deliveries in New York, Portugal, Australia and South Africa.

For Uber Connect, the following American cities have services currently running and more will likely be on the way soon:

  • Chicago
  • Miami,
  • Phoenix
  • Washington D.C.

To use Uber Connect, just fire up the app as you normally would and start a ride request. Once you come to the menu where you’d select the kind of ride you want (Uber X, Uber Comfort, etc.), you’ll pick Connect as your option. You’ll immediately see the rate price, as well as the estimated dropoff time for your cargo.

Easy, huh? Hopefully, the company gets the ball rolling in more cities before too long. Even if restrictions on businesses and people are lifted in the coming weeks, knowing that there are contact-free delivery options that anyone can use makes it even easier to stay healthy until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

Just make sure you’re not getting ahead of yourself and purchasing any sketchy vaccine reservations or treatments in the meantime — delivery or not. Tap or click to see coronavirus cures that are actually scams.

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