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ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Uber has announced the launch of its new delivery service, Uber Connect, which allows residents to easily send packages to others nearby.

The service is helpful to those who are socially distancing from their friends and neighbors, allowing users to send a broad range of items from their homes in a “cost-effective, same-day, no-contact” way. 

To use the service, just request “Uber Connect” in the Uber app.

This option is currently available in more than 2,400 new cities and towns in the United States. Connect is part of Uber’s effort to look beyond food and grocery transportation, and to provide on-demand and scheduled last-mile delivery solutions for consumers and businesses alike. 

“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,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. “While things are moving at a rapid pace, we are leaning into delivery at Uber speed, and keeping our eyes on the future.”

Here’s how Uber Connect works:

  1. Prepare your package and secure it shut.
  2. Select ‘Connect’ in the Uber app, agree to the terms and conditions, confirm that your package does not contain prohibited items, and request a delivery. 
  3. Reply to the message you’ll receive in the Uber app asking for the recipient’s name and any special delivery instructions for your driver.
  4. Meet the driver curbside and load your package into their vehicle.
  5. Instruct the recipient to meet the driver curbside to retrieve the package.

How it compares with normal package-delivery services:

  • No postage required.
  • On-demand package delivery—no need to wait hours or days for it to arrive.
  • The driver will transport the package on your behalf directly from your location
  • No direct contact with others—physical distancing guidance approved

Packages sent using Uber Connect must total less than $100 in value per trip, be less than 30 pounds and fit comfortably in the trunk of a midsize vehicle. Prohibited items include but are not limited to: alcohol, medication, recreational drugs, and dangerous or illegal items.

If the recipient is not available to receive the package, the driver may contact the sender to resolve the issue.