Uber Reaches Its Five Billionth Trip Amid Scandals and Resignations

Uber pick up 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
A year ago, it looked as if nothing could stand in Uber's way if it wanted to take over the world. Not just the ride-hailing business at a global level, but the world as a whole.
Now, though, the company is going through the worst patch since its creation, with scandals breaking out everywhere. The drivers are unhappy, the clients are upset, the board members make idiotic comments, the CEO has resigned - this is the look of a company on the brink of collapse.

And yet, Uber appears to be big enough to carry on. At least for now. Thousands of people worldwide have uninstalled the app on their phone and refuse to use its services anymore, but the other millions of users carry on as if nothing has happened.

It looks as though somebody is still working at Uber because the ride-hailing company has just informed everyone it had offered its five billionth trip globally. The milestone came a little over a year after the second billion was reached, showing the very high rate at which Uber's services have been expanding lately.

The trip that rounded Uber's counter to five billion was a little more difficult to identify. That's because there were actually 156 of them that had started at the exact same time (7:29 GMT on Saturday, May 20). They span over 24 countries and six continents, with one driver (who was actually riding a bike in Jakarta) being on his first trip while six of the clients also having their maiden voyages with Uber.

The company is going to offer $500 to each of the 156 drivers involved in these rides, which is certainly going to incentivise them to carry on. However, Uber's popularity is dwindling, and if the competition was waiting for a moment to strike, then it won't get a better opportunity than this.

For the moment, though Uber is surviving just fine and keeps making plenty of money. With a new management and a sustained PR campaign to wash its public image, Uber might shake everything off and come out stronger. With three billion rides in just over a year, we'll just have to see if it continues its growth rate and reaches ten billion over the next 365 days.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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