Uber is inching closer toward its plan of dominating every segment of the transportation industry.
Today, the San Francisco-based ridesharing company officially unveiled its on-demand delivery service UberRUSH in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Uber has been experimenting with pilot programs of the delivery program since at least last summer when it partnered with a handful of New York City-based businesses, including Rent The Runway, Birchbox and Baublebar.
UberRUSH will pick up and deliver everything from a meal to an item of clothing to a bouquet of flowers. Deliveries are made by foot, bike messenger and car, depending on the location and delivery.
The target for UberRUSH is small businesses, as it gives them access to more customers without them having to manage the infrastructure of a delivery fleet.
“If every local business delivered, we’d all save time and energy. But most simply can’t,” says Uber in a blog post announcing the product launch. “Day-to-day operations are already complicated and delivery can cause all sorts of logistical headaches.”
Pricing varies by city. In New York, a delivery that travels less than 1 mile costs $5.50 and each additional mile is $2.50. In San Francisco, deliveries start at $6 within a mile and each additional mile costs $3.
The product launch puts Uber squarely in the crosshairs of San Francisco-based Postmates, an on-demand service that promises delivery of local goods in under an hour. The difference between Postmates and UberRUSH approach: Postmates is designed for users to search on its platform for local businesses that are part of its delivery ecosystem, whereas UberRUSH is positioning itself as the back-end infrastructure that small-business owners plug into when they have a delivery to make.Related: What You Need to Know to Compete With the Surging Sharing Economy