Uber's new pet pick-up service launches in the Illawarra

26 June 2020

Pet owners can now share a ride with their dog or cat, after Uber Pet's arrival in the Illawarra.

The ride share company launched the spinoff service in the region on Thursday after a successful trial in Sydney and Brisbane.

"It was clear that for many pet owners, especially those without their own car, simple things like taking their pet to the vet or visiting friends and family could be a real challenge," Uber's Dom Taylor said.

 "Based on the feedback from riders, most were using Uber Pet to take their pet to an unexpected vet visit or just to the park, especially during lockdown.

"We also let driver-partners know this product was coming a couple of weeks back so that those drivers who didn't want to provide pet trips could opt out."

Owner of a kelpie cross named Toby, Erin Condran felt the new service would be beneficial, especially for those who didn't have a car and weren't easily able to take their pets anywhere further than walking distance.

"Pets are really important for a lot of people and they provide a connection and a sense of companionship as well," Ms Condran said.

"So they're really valued members of lots of people's lives.

This allows people more options to share their lives with their pets. It means people might be more easily able to take their pets with them to dog friendly beaches or venues."

While dogs and cats will be the most common passengers, any domesticated animal can hop on - at the driver's discretion.

Uber Pet trips are booked via the Uber app, selecting that option after entering the pick-up address.

There is an extra $6-$7 surcharge for the service and only drivers who have opted into the program can pick up people and their pets.

Owners are expected to restrain their pet with a leash or harness, or by placing them in a carrier. They should also bring a towel or blanket to cover the seat.

As with human passengers, if there are any "mishaps' while in the car, a rider can be charged a cleaning fee.

This article was originally published in Illawarra Mercurry.