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Uber launching bike courier service in Manhattan tomorrow

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Uber will begin testing a new service in Manhattan tomorrow, but the new service isn't designed to get you around: instead, it's launching a courier service called Uber Rush, which will let you hire bike and foot messenger to pick up your items and bring them to another location in the city. The service will only operate in Manhattan to start, and couriers won't be able to travel north of 110th Street — no higher than top of Central Park. Rates begin at $15 for a trip and can go as high as $30, depending on how far the courier has to go. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that surge pricing won't be used, at least for now.

Though Uber has dabbled in a number of eclectic professions for promotions and holidays, a courier service will be the first distinctly different core service that it offers, with all of its other products being different takes on taxi services. Uber Rush will only be a pilot program, so it's possible that it won't roll out further if it doesn't succeed. It's also fairly basic for now — only allowing customers to have products picked up from them, and not purchased for them as similar courier services do. Uber tells Bloomberg that it's been seeing people hire cabs just to ferry their items around the city though, so perhaps Uber is simply responding to untapped demand.