In an attempt to help get more people vaccinated, Uber has announced a set of new features that includes the ability to book a vaccine appointment (and ride to said appointment) through their app.
According to Uber:
We know that by making it easier to get to and from their appointments, more people will get vaccinated. So we’re partnering with Walgreens to make getting that shot as easy as booking a ride with Uber. Starting today nationwide, with just the tap of a button, you can reserve a vaccine as well as your ride there, all through your Uber app.
The vaccine appointment service functions nationwide. Per Walgreens, COVID-19 vaccines are available in over 9,000 locations across the country, with more availability as states loosen up their vaccination guidelines.
Another feature that Uber announced includes a partnership with car rental services such as Hertz, Avis and Budget, which offers customers the ability to rent cars through their app and have them delivered without interacting with people. For an extra fee, users can have the car delivered straight to their homes by an Uber driver, avoiding having to get inside a car with someone else. This service will start in May and will only be available in Washington D.C. It’s expected to expand to other states by the latter half of the year.
Other features announced include the ability to bundle deliveries in a single trip, allowing users to order grocery items and take out and have them delivered in one go. People will also be able to preorder take out from restaurants that are closed, and more, which sounds like a lot of work for Uber drivers.
Despite Uber’s growth and impressive roster of partnerships, 2020 was a rough year for ride share apps. The company is now facing a driver shortage due to stressful working conditions, very low wages and a decrease in business due to the pandemic.
With new features and lures like bonus pay and raises for their drivers, Uber hopes to catch up. We’ll have to see how the coming months develop, whether the number of COVID-19 cases decrease and if people feel comfortable enough to use ride sharing apps for their day to day activities.