Uber begins deliveries

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Photo courtesy of Uber

Uber is officially entering the same-day delivery competition with its UberRush service in New York, San Francisco and Chicago on Wednesday. But don't expect to see Uber town cars ferrying packages around in their trunks in New York at least. The service for small businesses, which has been tested in New York for about a year, is primarily via bike messengers in that city. They'll be done by car in Chicago and a combo in San Francisco.

The expansion comes as big merchants like Amazon and Target have been expanding same-day delivery options. In New York, UberRush will cost users $3 to start, then $2.50 per mile with a minimum of $5. Rates vary slightly in Chicago and San Francisco.

Under the test, users were able to request a courier to ferry items between people for a flat rate of $30 in the same one-click way users can hail a ride via the Uber app. Now, Uber is giving small businesses access to the courier service. Any small business in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens can sign up for the service for free, Uber says. So anyone who shops online at those stores can get their items delivered the same day.

— AP Business Writer Mae Anderson