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Uber Brings On-Demand Ice Cream Trucks To NYC

Promotion Allows Users To Summon Trucks Using App
The Uber ice cream truck in New York City on Friday, July 19, 2013 (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

The Uber ice cream truck in New York City on Friday, July 19, 2013 (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Don’t scream for ice cream. Just pick up your smartphone.

In the midst of a sticky heat wave, Uber is offering an ice cream-on-demand service for one day only Friday in New York City and more than three dozen other cities around the world.

The company is known for letting people order private drivers in sleek black cars using a smartphone app.

But Friday’s promotion allows people to use the Uber app to summon an ice cream truck hired by Uber to their location, provided they purchased a minimum number of treats.

“It’s awesome to be able to just get ice cream delivered from my phone,” Gordon, who ordered ice cream for his office, told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.

On normal days, Uber lets people order a ride in a taxi, a regular car, a high-end sedan or an SUV using its smartphone app, after they register for the service with their credit card information. Rates depend on where you are.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that although there is no way to meet all the demand for ice cream, “there is going to be crisp communication” that it is a very limited supply.

But for those who do get ice cream, he added, it’s “a magical experience” to be able to push a button and summon an ice cream truck or in the case of Italian cities, a gelato truck.

People will have to order more than one cone to have a truck come to them. Depending on the city, six ice creams will cost $20 to $35. The trucks will be out until 5 p.m.

Uber is currently available in 35 cities, up from about a dozen at this time last year.

This is the second one-day promotion from Uber this summer. On July 3, the company offered to shuttle people to the Hamptons in a chopper at a cost of $3,000 for five people.

After Friday, those craving ice cream will have to resort to more traditional means of acquiring their treats.

“We are not going to be an ice cream delivery company,” Kalanick said.

Additional cities participating in the promotion are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Uber is also doing this in Toronto; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; Amsterdam; Berlin and Munich, Germany; London; Lyon and Paris, France; Milan and Rome, Italy; Stockholm and Singapore.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)