Uber app to allow users to book vaccine appointments, reserve rental cars

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FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo is an Uber office in Secaucus, New Jersey, USA. The U.K. Supreme Court has ruled Friday Feb. 19, 2021, that Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self employed, threatening the Californian company’s business model and holds broader implications for the so-called gig economy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(REUTERS) — Uber said Wednesday it was launching new features in its app to allow U.S. customers to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments and reserve rides.

Customers would be able reserve an appointment at a Walgreens pharmacy to receive a vaccine and book an Uber ride to travel there, the firm said in a product presentation.

The feature, which expands an Uber and Walgreens partnership announced in February, reflects the wider availability of COVID-19 inoculations in the United States, where every state has opened up vaccines to all adults.

For Uber, more vaccinations mean a quicker return to pre-pandemic travel and higher revenues, which tumbled during the pandemic. The number of journeys has already increased. March was the best month since the pandemic’s full force was felt.

The company also announced partnerships with Avis Budget Group Inc, Hertz and other vehicle rental agencies.

From Wednesday, customers can book rental cars through the Uber app, with Uber offering up to 10% of the rental cost as a credit to the user to spend on other Uber services.

In May, users in Washington DC can have their rental car delivered to and collected from their home, after paying a fee to Uber, which will rollout the service nationwide this year.

Uber’s smaller rival Lyft Inc already offers car rentals in partnership with Sixt SE.

Uber also said it would expand an option to reserve rides in advance to more U.S. and European cities and allow customers to book and collect food delivery orders during a ride-hail trip.

© 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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