Amidst the early Covid-19 lockdowns, with fewer and fewer passengers requesting rides, Uber needed a new way to fill their seats. The solution was Uber Connect, described by Uber as an additional earnings opportunity that allows drivers to receive package delivery requests through the Uber app. However, there’s a chance you might not have heard of this because this feature is only available in select cities.
On the bright side, if you’re interested in delivering packages, Uber Connect has expanded to over 2,400 cities and towns across the U.S. so there’s also a chance that you have heard of this. If so, we’ve compiled a list of lingering unanswered questions about what Uber Connect is and what you can expect driving for this service:
- What is Uber Connect?
- How much can drivers make with Uber Connect?
- How is Uber Connect different from UberX?
- Where is Uber Connect in the driver app?
- What do Uber Connect drivers deliver?
- Is it worth it?
What is Uber Connect?
Uber Connect is a package delivery service that allows drivers to receive package delivery requests through the Uber app. This provides an additional opportunity to earn income, on top of rideshare and food, alcohol, and grocery delivery.
Here’s how it works:
When the person that is sending the package, aka the sender, requests a package delivery, drivers are notified in the app and have the option to accept or decline the delivery order. This process is very similar to the process of accepting a ride request.
If accepted, drivers are routed to the pick-up location and the sender will place the packaged order in their car. Then, the driver transports the package to its destination, where the recipient (should) be waiting to receive the delivery. We’ll touch on this more later in this article.
How much can drivers make with Uber Connect?
Uber Connect fares are calculated based on the distance between the package pick-up and drop-off locations. Drivers can see estimated fares before accepting the delivery, but the sender has up to one hour to change these details without notifying drivers. There may be some instances where the fare you initially see may not be the one you receive after you finish the delivery. For instance, additional wait time charges may apply if you’ve waited for at least two minutes.
While it’s difficult to pin down exact dollar amounts, drivers with Uber Connect report that earnings are typically higher per trip than UberX, but there’s a catch. As of now, Uber Connect is not as popular as UberX. Deliveries are typically less frequent, meaning earnings per hour are usually lower.
Keep in mind that if you are a Gridwise Plus member you have exclusive access to see how much you can potentially make per hour based on the amount of time you spend driving across your rideshare and delivery platforms. Click the When to Drive feature, located on the home page in the app, to compare your Earnings per Trip day to day!
Anyways, Uber users are also still learning how Uber Connect works, and some drivers report that costly issues with pickup and delivery are not uncommon.
If a delivery is cancelled when a driver is at the pick-up location or en-route, they receive a cancellation fee. However, If a driver arrives at a drop-off point and no one is there to claim the package, Uber doesn’t allow them to end the delivery.
Although a small fare is paid out for longer waits, these mishaps can keep drivers off the road and away from more profitable rides, so deliveries carry a bigger risk than rideshare trips.
Uber encourages drivers to reach out to Uber Support if they’re unable to reach and/or carry out the delivery to the recipient at the drop-off location. We know that getting prompt support is not always easy, so here’s our guide on how to get real support from Uber, just in case.
How is Uber Connect different from UberX?
Uber is very clear that Uber Connect cannot be used to “deliver” passengers, although that doesn’t seem to stop some people from trying.
Uber Connect found its footing around the holidays, so that people could continue to send gifts to their loved ones during quarantine. It even earned the nickname “UberSanta” from some imaginative users. This sets up the primary differentiator between UberX and Connect, the difference being peak demand times.
Package deliveries are most popular around gift-giving holidays, but not actually on them. This presents an opportunity for drivers to maximize their holiday earnings without having to sacrifice their plans and drive on the holiday itself like they might with rideshare.
It’s also unlikely that package deliveries will incite the same late night and weekend surge prices that rideshare drivers may see. Because of this, Uber Connect might be a strong option for drivers who want to maximize their daytime earnings and don’t want to work during the evenings and/or weekends.
Protecting yourself as a driver will also look slightly different depending on whether you’re driving for UberX or Uber Connect. Uber does not insure packages when they’re shipped. This means that you’re responsible for the contents of any package while in your vehicle. To protect yourself, you should make sure that your driver insurance policy is comprehensive or at least covers third-party property damage.
Check with our partner Inshur for affordable insurance for gig drivers, (only available in NYC and New Jersey for now). As always, it’s best to consult with a licensed professional to make sure you’re covered.
Where is Uber Connect in the driver app?
Uber Connect is expanding, but it’s still not available everywhere that Uber operates. When Uber Connect rolls out in a new city, drivers receive an invitation in the form of an email or Driver Hub notification offering the option to sign up.
Once a driver’s application is approved, they will start seeing package delivery requests alongside ride requests. Drivers always have the option to toggle Uber Connect deliveries on and off within the app by changing the “Driver Preferences” in their settings.
As Uber Connect becomes more popular and available in more locations, it could be a strong contender for drivers looking to diversify their earnings. That is, if they’re lucky enough to have this feature rolled out in their city!
However, if Uber Connect is not shown in the Driver Hub, it’s probably not available yet in your area.
What do Uber Connect drivers deliver?
Uber Connect allows drivers to deliver a variety of items as long as they meet specific criteria:
- The package cannot contain any prohibited items
- Per-trip combined maximum weight should not exceed 30 pounds
- Packages must be closed, sealed and ready for delivery at the time of pickup
As long as they fall within the required parameters, senders can deliver all sorts of items through Uber Connect, potentially increasing the number of deliveries available for drivers to earn.
For our two-wheeled friends, Uber also designed the Uber Connect program with you in mind. Any approved package can be delivered with any approved Uber vehicle, not just ones with a trunk.
Is it worth it?
Uber Connect can be an excellent way for drivers to add another revenue stream. However, it’s important to remember that the service is still somewhat new.
Since drivers aren’t required to accept delivery orders, turning on Uber Connect and taking one or two deliveries between rideshare rides might be worth it to see if this feature will be a good addition to their business.
We want to hear from you!
Do you have experience driving with Uber Connect? We’d love for you to share all of your delivery (and rideshare) experiences with our community on Facebook. Plus, you’ll have the chance to win money in our gas card giveaways!
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