Uber is planning to launch a pilot program in Florida and Canada that lets app users hire gig workers to complete household chores.
Called "UberTask," the service would initially use Uber drivers and couriers who would be able to see the estimated earnings for the task before signing up for it, according to a November 13 Bloomberg report. Tasks could be household projects such as furniture assembly, in-home laundry, lawn mowing, snow removal, packing or unpacking, holiday decorating, yard cleanup and garden maintenance, according to the report.
While freelance and independent contract work is not new, apps and websites continue to power the gig economy, bringing on-demand employment into the mainstream.
At Uber, the pilot program will initially launch in Fort Myers, Florida, and Edmonton, Alberta, Bloomberg reported. If Uber eventually expands beyond those test markets, it would be in direct competition with other task-related apps such as TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, Handy, and Angi.
“This small pilot is the newest way for drivers and couriers to put their skills to work and earn on their own schedule,” an Uber spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We’re always thinking about how to bring people more ways to earn with Uber.”
In September, Bloomberg reported the finding of a hidden code in the Uber iPhone app that suggested users would be able to hire a “tasker” for at least one hour to complete a task. The service was initially believed to be named “Chore” but has since been named Uber Tasks, according to the report.
Delivery app competition heats up
The delivery app market has been heating up with service offerings this year. Earlier this month, DoorDash and Instacart announced plans to accept Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) payments for eligible items at select merchants. Uber said it plans to begin accepting FSA payments in 2024.
But Uber was following in the footsteps of DoorDash, which launched an identical package returns service, Package Pickup on DoorDash, in January.
Need to find a gig worker? There's an app for that. Instawork connects businesses with hourly workers and offers some tips on how to find and hire them.
Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.
- Esther D’AmicoSenior News Editor
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