Most of the headlines Uber makes aren’t exactly welcomed by the company. But despite being involved in everything from app-blocking legislation to lawsuits over drivers’ rights, the ride-hailing service continues to be incredibly popular.
According to a Facebook post by CEO Travis Kalanick yesterday, Uber recorded its two billionth trip last month.
What makes the achievement particularly impressive is how quickly Uber arrived at its latest milestone; the company took more than five years to reach its billionth trip - a feat it accomplished on Christmas Eve 2015 – but managed to hit two billion riders just six months later.
There were 147 trips across 16 countries on five continents that tied for the two billionth ride. They all started at exactly the same second: 9:16 p.m. Pacific Time, June 17. The longest – a trip across the Indonesian capital of Jakarta – lasted an hour, while the shortest was a three-minute journey in Changsha, China.
Each of the 147 drivers and their passengers are receiving $450 from Uber, representing the 450 cities around the world where the service is available – up from 311 cities a year ago.
There was only a single journey that qualified for Uber’s one billionth trip; to mark that event, the company gave rider Marvin one year’s worth of free rides, while driver Ara got a free trip to the Uber city of his choice.
A total of 54 rides that tied for the two-billionth milestone originated in China, a country where Uber faces stiff competition from local transportation network giant Didi Chuxing. The Chinese firm may capture over four-fifths of the ride-hailing market in the Asian nation, but its $28 billion value is still way behind Uber’s $62.5 billion valuation.