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Amazon to launch same-day delivery service in minority dominated Boston neighbourhood

27 April 2016

Amazon said it would soon launch same-day delivery service for Prime members in a predominantly African-American Boston neighbourhood, it had earlier left out even as it covered surrounding areas.

The move comes as Boston mayor Martin Walsh yesterday slammed the company for leaving the neighborhood of Roxbury, ''a hole right in the heart of our city'' from same-day delivery.

The controversy arose after a Bloomberg News investigation pointed out how Amazon's same-day delivery service did not extend to minority neighborhoods in six big cities.

In Boston, Roxbury stood out as it was fairly central and located in the middle of areas where same-day delivery happened.

According to Amazon, it deployed the service in places with a high density of Prime members and considered other data such as distance from fulfillment centres. The company added, it considered whether the logistics providers it contracted with were able to deliver packages up to 9 pm ''every single day, even Sunday.''

In a statement released by Boston city hall on Tuesday, the mayor bemoaned the reluctance of Amazon's bosses to change their policy.

''We understand that the people who run Amazon don't live here and might not understand our great neighborhoods, but this is an egregious mistake that must be changed,'' the mayor said.

Meanwhile, "We are actively working with our local carrier to enable service to the Roxbury neighborhood in the coming weeks," Amazon said in a statement.

"Once completed, Prime members in every zip code in Boston, including the Roxbury neighborhood, will receive Prime Free Same-Day Delivery, in addition to existing Free Two-Day and One-Day shipping options."

The predominantly black neighbourhood of Roxbury in central Boston, was the only Zip code area in the whole region to not have access to Amazon's same-day delivery. The Bloomberg report also highlighted that the same pattern was seen in other cities, including New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

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