What Uber offerings is Australia missing out on?
If you think Uber has completely transformed Australian public transport, check out the cool ways you can get around with Uber in other parts of the world.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave, or on a deserted island for the past few years, you’ll probably be familiar with the world’s largest ridesharing platform, Uber. But what you may not know is that Uber offers much more than just a cheap and convenient alternative to taxis.
The UberEATS food delivery service is already available in Sydney and Melbourne, while one-off promotional UberCHOPPER rides in several Australian capital cities have taken ridesharing to new heights.
But if you cast your eyes overseas, Uber customers around the world can access a range of unique services that aren’t available in Australia. It’s Uber, but not as you know it. Let’s take a closer look at five unique Uber offerings from around the globe.
There are times in life when you’re faced with a difficult decision and the only solution is to ask yourself one simple question: What would James Bond do?
If 007 had the option to cruise Croatia’s breathtaking Dalmatian coast in a luxury speedboat, would he? Of course he would, which is why the UberBOAT service, set to launch in Croatia in summer later this year, is such a spectacularly good idea.
Negotiations are underway with authorities in Split, Dubrovnik and Korcula Island (it’s beautiful, trust us) to hire speedboats of different sizes to allow Uber travellers to get around on the crystal clear waters in style.
Similar UberBOAT services already operate in places like Miami and Istanbul, with the Turkish service crossing Istanbul’s central Bosporus Strait. A one-off UberBOAT promotion was offered in Sydney back in 2014, and the harbour city is definitely the perfect place for a permanent water-based service in the future.
Nope, UberPOOL is not a ridesharing service that lets you use strangers’ backyard swimming pools to cool off in summer...
Instead, the POOL in the name refers to carpooling. The service allows riders heading in the same direction to split the cost of their ride and pick up others along the way.
UberPOOL is available in 30 cities around the world, including London, Paris and New York, and is responsible for around 20% of all Uber rides worldwide. While not yet available in Australia, UberPOOL is set to launch in Sydney and Melbourne at some stage in 2017.
If you’ve ever experienced Bangkok’s infamous traffic, you’ll know that it’s chaotic at best and an absolute nightmare at worst. The quickest way to get around is not by car but by motorbike, which is where UberMOTO comes in.
UberMOTO was launched as a pilot program in Bangkok in 2016, operating in the Sathorn, Siam and Silom areas. It lets users save time and money on their Bangkok commute by booking a ride on a motorcycle and zipping through and around the traffic.
UberMOTO provides all the other features you’d expect from the ridesharing platform, not to mention the fact that your UberMOTO driver can provide a helmet for you before you hit the road.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the service has been temporarily suspended in Bangkok due to pressure from regulators. However, UberMOTO also launched in Hyderabad, India, in January 2017, and we can think of more than a few other congested cities around the world that could benefit from its introduction.
There are more bicycles than people in Amsterdam, so it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is one of two cities around the world (along with Sao Paulo, Brazil) where UberBIKE operates.
It’s the perfect option for cyclists needing to rest their weary legs. UberBIKE allows you to order a car with a bike rack to take you and your bike wherever you need to be. It’s clever, convenient and perfect for overambitious exercisers who bite off more than they can chew.
Uber isn’t just about helping you get around; it can also help businesses move deliveries from A to B. UberRUSH is an on-demand courier service available in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. It offers fast and easy deliveries, allowing small businesses to tap into a large network of delivery drivers.
Not only does UberRUSH keep delivery costs down, but it can also help businesses expand their delivery zone. After all, it’s not like an ordinary delivery service where the driver has to make a round trip. Real-time tracking also helps businesses and recipients keep track of their packages.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks and restrictions. For one, parcel sizes are limited to 50 pounds (22.68kg) for delivery drivers and 30 pounds (13.61kg) for delivery partners on bikes. Also, you can’t use UberRUSH to send alcohol or anything else that requires proof of ID, so late-night booze deliveries from your local bottle shop simply aren’t an option.
Uber is well aware of the value of the extensive media coverage generated by a unique promo event. We’ve already mentioned the UberCHOPPER promos that gave a few lucky punters the chance to arrive at music festivals and race days from the air. Other promotional events have seen Uber deliver ice cream in hundreds of cities around the world.
But our all-time favourite marketing gimmick has to be UberPUPPIES. This furry and fun event has been held in several cities around the world and made it to Australia in 2016. By choosing the “Puppies” option when ordering an Uber, you and your friends got to enjoy 15 minutes of snuggle time with a posse of adorable puppies while at the same time providing financial support for animal shelters around the country.
We just wish it was available 24/7!
Disclaimer: This is in no way an exhaustive list. For example, in November 2015, Uber had a promotion to send Birds of Tokyo to offices in Sydney (aptly named UberBIRDS) and finder was lucky enough to land a performance at our offices. Check out the video below.
Want to know more about Uber?
- The definitive guide to Uber
- Uber income calculator
- When is Uber more expensive than a taxi?
- Save with Uber promo codes
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