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Uber Launches Connect And Direct Services Amid Pandemic Struggles

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Uber has announced the launch of its new services called “Uber Connect” and “Uber Direct”, as it seeks to gain revenue amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


The social distancing guidelines are minimising the demand for its ride-hailing business, thus, impacting the company’s revenue.


Therefore, the new services are targeting the transportation of items like medical supplies and pet food. This is as opposed to its traditional ride-hailing services. It will also offer a delivery service between Uber users with the new offerings.


Uber Connect aims at making a courier-like same-day delivery service that lets uber users send items between one another. Uber Direct, however, offers deliveries of medical items or pet food from pharmacies and pet stores.

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Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, said it was “leaning [into] delivery at Uber speed”.


“Throughout this crisis, we’ve been looking for new ways our platform can help move essential goods for businesses and consumers while providing new earning opportunities for drivers. Our primary focus is [immediate]: quickly adapting our technology to meet the evolving needs of communities and companies,” he said.


Uber Direct
Uber is introducing the new services to generate revenue amid the pandemic. Photo: Getty Images.


Uber says it will offer deliveries of over-the-counter medication from Cabinet stores in New York. It will, however, operate in conjunction with Portugal’s national postal service, CTT, to deliver parcels in the country.


The company is working with The Green Cross to deliver pet supplies in Australia, and in South Africa, it will also be delivering medication in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and local health services.


Uber says all deliveries will be contact-less thus, helping to prevent the spread of the virus. Uber Connect is available in cities across Australia, Mexico, and the US.


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