Uber, the company that made taxi services look slow, is now moving from transportation to delivery, as Uber Rush is the new branch of the business that will “run your errands for you.” Though the CEO first mentioned the idea back in September, Uber Rush is officially open for business and gaining good reviews already. But can they really keep up as well as they say, and is it worth the price?
In 2009 a new company initiative launched that called itself Uber. Uber was a company that was going to revolutionize the residential transportation industry, as they worked to be easier and faster than using traditional taxi cabs for transportation. As the company grew to huge numbers, as they are now available in over 200 cities and are continuing to grow, the taxi companies were furious. In several reports taxi companies made complaints against the business for stealing their customers. In fact, supposedly taxi drivers are Uber’s biggest complainers as drivers for Uber, often state on blog posts and social media, that taxi drivers order rides with Uber drivers and leave bad reviews in an effort to hurt the driver’s reputation. Though Uber has had other complaints, they were definitely not making friends with other transportation businesses.
Uber simply made it more simple to get transportation services, as they combine drivers with cars and technology for an advanced way to run business. Customers simply request rides through an app on their phones and, supposedly, the driver who is the closest gets the first opportunity to take the ride. The driver then shows up to the location where the customer is and takes them to where they want to go. Payment is processed automatically through the card number that is entered in the app, meaning drivers never have to carry cash and Uber customers never have to worry about payment. The customer learns how much the ride is expected to cost before scheduling it and the payment is taken care of by the company, then regularly schedule payments are sent to the driver from Uber. The whole process sounds complicated but it really is as simple as can be, which is precisely why users seem to like it, but as if taking over the transportation business was not enough, Uber is now fighting to give consumers more options in the delivery business.
Customers know that running errands and waiting on deliveries can be a hassle. Uber Rush planned to improve this for customers as they began taking on the delivery side of business. Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, said that Uber’s growth was fast and unusual and that moving into new ventures was just the obvious next step. Uber has been trying new things, such as, delivering lunch, picking up and delivering items from convenient stores, and even delivering packages, all at the touch of a button.
For Uber Rush, most employees are on bikes or by foot. The technology works the same way, as the user tells the company where to pick up the package and where to deliver it, and payment is automatic through a card on file. Currently the fee is a flat $15 for deliveries within the same ‘zone’ (which users can see on the Uber Rush map) and an additional $5 is charged for every additional zone that the delivery employee has to travel through. Uber has tested making deliveries for roses, ice cream, pharmaceuticals and more, and in the future there may be more defined rules on deliveries, but right now Uber Rush is just working on giving the customers what they want.
As Uber continues to grow they have become a $3 billion industry. Taking the next step from transportation to delivery, may prove to be another profitable venture.
By Crystal Boulware