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article imageUber tests new delivery service in D.C.

By Sean Fraser     Aug 20, 2014 in Business
Washington, D. C. - The popular car service company is test-driving a new product delivery service in the nation's capital. However, the test area leaves out African American and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Uber calls their service Corner Store, which will pick up everything from diapers to cough medicine along with over 100 more items. Items are charged to a customer's Uber account. Currently, there is no delivery charge or mandatory tipping, but that might change depending on how successful the service test it, reports InTheCapital.
The test area in D.C. is limited to the northwest and southeast neighborhoods, which are primarily populated by white people. ThinkProgress.org pointed this out after a Twitter user named Donny Bridges (@DonnyBridges) compared the service map with a map of D.C.'s racial demographics.
Denying an area of a city goods and services based on the desirability of the area is called "redlining." The practice began near the beginning of the 20th century and continues to this day.
"The practice of “redlining” has been utilized for decades by industries ranging from supermarkets to banking," ThinkProgress.org's Adam Peck says. "But if brick and mortar stores engage in a kind of quiet discrimination by simply choosing not to opt in to low-income or minority neighborhoods, companies like Uber, which are highly scalable and inherently mobile, make conscious decisions to purposefully opt out of entire neighborhoods from their service areas."
Technology companies have had less than desirable relationships with minority communities in the past, especially when it comes to hiring minorities and providing tech services.
Uber launched its car service app in 2009, and has become widely popular in 70 major cities.
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