Uber quietly piloting new delivery service, but not in SF 

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San Francisco-based Uber is quietly piloting an app for delivering goods in New York City.

The service, which was first reported Wednesday by TechCrunch, would allow merchants to list goods available for same-day delivery by an Uber courier.

As many as 400 merchants are in talks with Uber to use the app, TechCrunch reported. But so far, the app seems to be aimed at high-end retailers, as TechCrunch said Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s and Hugo Boss are involved in the talks.

Uber is a ride-hailing app that competes with traditional taxis.

A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that it is piloting the courier program only in New York at this point.

“This is not being piloted in San Francisco,” Trina Smith wrote in an email. “We’ve made no announcements beyond the pilot in New York.”

San Francisco Uber drivers contacted by The San Francisco Examiner said they did not know of anything like the pilot program happening in The City.

The courier app’s training manual, obtained by TechCrunch, described the app as such: It allows a delivery person to select a vehicle, view current courier jobs, and see a description of packages and navigation details.

Uber has tried its hand at other offshoots — delivering meals or fresh produce — in other cities. The courier service so far only links with retailers that have item-specific, same-day inventories.

New York-specific app Spring is the backbone of Uber’s pilot program, TechCrunch reported. Last year, the two companies hosted a promotion called UberRUSH that allowed goods deliveries via Uber for two days in June.

About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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