Online cab hailing service Uber has completed 5 billion trips globally. The company said that early on Saturday, May 20, 156 trips were initiated simultaneously, marking the 5 billionth trip. India emerged as the second-largest contributor to this, after the US. In India, there were 19 simultaneous trips across Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune.

During the 5 billionth trip

  • The trips happened in 24 countries on six continents.
  • A driver Jakarta was on his first trip and he picked up a passenger on a motorbike.
  • Six riders including a rider from Chennai were taking their first Uber trip.
  • The shortest trip lasted just 2.5 blocks in San Francisco.
  • The longest lasted 27 kilometers in Singapore.
  • 15 riders were using Uber outside of their home city.
  • Each of the 156 drivers involved will get $500 from Uber.

Currently, Uber is present in more than 450 cities, across 76 countries and 6 continents. The company completed 1 million rides in May 2012, 10 million rides by May 2013, 57 million rides by May 2014, 350 million rides by May 2015, 1 billion rides by December 2015, and 2 billion rides by June 2016. In a recent interview with Mint, Amit Jain, president of Uber India said, the number of daily trips and gross sales at Uber India had increased 2.5 times at the end of June 2017 as compared to last year. The publication added that as of August 2016, Uber completed 5.5 million trips each week in India. The company did not mention the number of rides completed or taken each day/week in India.

This news comes at a time when Uber is under severe pressure and coping with a series of unexpected developments: the latest being Travis Kalanick decision to step down as CEO. He was on an extended leave of absence in any case, plus his responsibilities at the company were under review and expected to be reallocated, based on the recommendations after the internal probe.

Other developments

  • Uber has introduced in-app driver tipping, after being opposed to the idea for a long time. Tipping is currently available in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, the company said that it will be extended for all drivers across the US by the end of July 2017. Drivers will be allowed to cash out tips any time using Instant Pay, and Uber service fees will not be deducted from driver tips.
  • In India, across June, it launched the UberPASS feature and expanded UberEats to Gurugram. UberPASS offers flat rates, discounted rates, waiver of cancellation charges. It is currently under pilot in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. UberEats was launched in Mumbai in May and earlier this week the services was expanded to Gurugram in Delhi-NCR.