Can You Do Uber Eats by Walking?

Uber Eats allows thousands of people an easy and convenient way to earn an income. In some markets, workers can decide to deliver by foot, bicycle, or scooter.

Unfortunately, Uber Eats has made specific updates that change its order prioritization system. There’s a lot to know and factor in when considering walking for Uber Eats. Here’s everything you need to know and more.

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Does Uber Eats Allow Walking?

Uber Eats allows couriers to deliver orders on foot in significant cities and dense urban environments. Unfortunately, as of March 2022, it seems that Uber Eats has updated its algorithm and now prioritizes cars over walkers. On-foot orders have dropped by 80-90% in some markets.

uber eats delivery walking

Pre-Update Uber Eats On-Foot Delivery Explained

Uber Eats couriers can sign up to deliver orders by car, scooter, bike, and foot. On-foot deliveries were a preferred method for many couriers living in major cities or dense downtown areas. On-foot couriers could navigate city streets, hop over fences, and deliver orders while staying fit.

Most Uber Eats walkers would get a ping, pick up the order, and drop it off in less than 15 minutes. Walking orders ranged from 50 to 1,300 meters, with an average of around 800 meters or half a mile.

Unfortunately, Uber Eats recently updated its platform to prioritize vehicle deliveries making on-foot deliveries near useless.

How Much Do Uber Eats Walkers Make?

On-foot couriers would receive around 8-12 orders a shift before Uber Eats updated its platform and algorithm. On-foot couriers used to earn about $500 to $600 per week for around 60 to 75 deliveries, depending on the location and local market.

After the Uber Eats platform update, on-foot couriers were earning around $300 to $350 a week, working twice the amount of hours they usually would. On-foot couriers were also forced to accept low-tip and low-priority orders after the platform update.

Important Uber Eats Platform Update Explained

Sometime around late March and early April in 2022, Uber Eats changed their platform and algorithm, effectively preventing any on-foot deliveries. As you can imagine, this frustrated many couriers and ruined their income. Some of the main issues include:

  • On-foot delivery radius significantly reduced
  • Bicycle and vehicle deliveries prioritized over on-foot
  • Uber Eats didn’t release an official message, causing confusion and distrust amongst couriers.

Let’s take a deeper look into some of these main issues and why on-foot deliveries for Uber Eats might not be a good use of your time anymore.

On-Foot Delivery Radius Significantly Reduced

After the platform update, on-foot couriers had their order radius significantly reduced. Most orders before the update would be between 50 to 1,300 meters. The average on-foot delivery was around 800 meters, which is half a mile.

Now on-foot couriers have a significantly smaller order radius, somewhere between 300 to 500 meters. To put it in a different perspective, that’s between 0.2 and 0.3 miles on average. Many on-foot couriers have found the radius too small and have to essentially camp out in the busiest and densest areas to receive any orders.

Bicycle and Vehicles Prioritized Above Walking

The Uber Eats platform update also prioritized bicycle and vehicle deliveries over on-foot orders. The algorithm update seems to prioritize vehicles over bicycle deliveries, however.

Many on-foot couriers noticed that a driver would receive an order even if they were closer to the delivery or pickup location. Prioritizing vehicle delivery makes on-foot deliveries effectively useless and sends a message that these couriers aren’t valued on the Uber Eats platform.

The vehicle prioritization update made some on-foot couriers receive 80-90% fewer orders in some locations and markets. Some on-foot couriers would start the app and wouldn’t receive a delivery order for over two hours.

uber eats on foot driver waiting

No Official Statement From Uber Eats

Uber Eats hasn’t released an official statement about its walking program or algorithm update, which is one of the biggest complaints from on-foot couriers. Uber Eats didn’t send out an email to couriers or make an official statement about the change.

Some couriers reached out to Uber Eats support and received nothing back. The Uber Eats customer service team would claim that there hasn’t been a change, and it could be due to bugs in the system. Other couriers reached out on Twitter and received similar statements.

Without an official statement, many on-foot couriers are left feeling unvalued and out of luck. The update has affected many people’s primary source of income and survival.

These couriers feel that although removing on-foot deliveries would be unfortunate, they would have liked to know beforehand and not have the rug swept from under them.

Will the Update Be Reverted?

There hasn’t been an official statement from Uber Eats about whether the algorithm and platform update will be reverted. It’s uncertain whether the update is still in place or not. Many couriers have experienced an increase in orders, while others are left without any deliveries.

All of this leads to an uncertain circumstance for on-foot and bicycle couriers. It might be best to look for a different delivery service or transportation method if you’re considering delivering for Uber Eats without a vehicle.

Uber Eats On-Foot Deliveries

Uber Eats allows couriers to deliver orders on foot in significant cities and dense urban environments. However, Uber Eats released a platform and algorithm update in March of 2022 that effectively removed on-foot deliveries.

The update prioritizes vehicle deliveries over on-foot workers. The delivery radius for on-foot orders was reduced to around 300-500 meters, and on-foot orders have dropped by 80-90% in some markets. These updates have led to outrage, frustration, and confusion for on-foot couriers across the United States.

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