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Uber expands delivery with Direct and Connect offerings as coronavirus continues

Uber is expanding its delivery services as riders stay home.

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Uber is adding new Direct and Connect options as it expands further into deliveries. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Uber is bolstering its delivery business as riders continue to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday the ride-sharing service announced two new options it's calling Uber Direct and Uber Connect. 

In a blog post, Uber says that Direct "builds upon Uber Eats' recent expansion into grocery and convenience store delivery" to allow shoppers to place orders through apps which Uber will deliver. In the US the company says it's partnering with Cabinet, an online pharmacy, to deliver over-the-counter medication to those in New York. Uber is also working with CTT to deliver parcels in Portugal, and with Greencross to deliver pet supplies in Australia. 

uber connect

Uber Connect can be found in the Uber app alongside options for regular Uber rides. 

Uber

Those looking to send packages to friends or family can use Connect, which can do same-day, no-contact delivery. Those in "more than 25 cities in Australia, Mexico and the US" can find the new option in the Uber app alongside traditional ride request options such as UberX and Uber Comfort. 

In the US the cities include Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, Tampa Bay and Washington, DC. 

Australian cities include Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta and Tijuana are represented in Mexico.  

Uber previously had a delivery service known as UberRush, but shut it down in 2018. 

The expansion into delivery services comes nearly two weeks after Uber added a new Work Hub to help its drivers take on deliveries as ride-sharing slowed.

"The most important thing we can do right now is support drivers," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement on Uber's blog when announcing Work Hub. 

"They're doing essential work to keep our communities moving as we fight this virus, but with fewer trips happening they need more ways to earn," Khosrowshahi said. "With the Work Hub, we hope drivers can find more work opportunities, whether that's with another of Uber's businesses, or at another company."