Uber’s meteoric rise as the world’s most valuable startup and public transportation disruptor has been well documented – along with the misadventures of their former CEO and co-founder, Travis Kalanick.
Despite whatever that happened behind the scenes, one thing is for certain, they have forever changed the way we travel in the cities. They have created a solution to the problem they wanted to solve – How do you get a ride at the push of a button?
The name of the company has since become a noun which most people use daily, and every other new startup wants to be the “Uber of…” something.
Uber Has Now Surpassed 5 Billion Rides
Saturday, May 20 was the day that Uber finally surpassed the 5 billion rides mark with 156 trips started simultaneously at 7:29:06am GMT.
All of these trips happened in 24 countries on 6 continents, and Singapore just so happens, recorded the longest trip out of the 156, clocking in at 27 kilometers.
The shortest trip of the bunch if you must know, belonged to San Francisco which covers 2.5 blocks (which is just a few hundred meters worth).
To illustrate just how huge Uber has grown to surpass 5 billion rides, they’ve even provided this little animation.
The gravity of how fast they have grown can only be felt once you look at the numbers. The first billion rides was only achieved 2 years ago in late 2015.
Then a mere 6 months later, Uber crossed the 2 billion rides mark in 2016. Now here we are in the middle of 2017, and 5 billion rides later.
6 Singaporeans Part Of The Record Breaking Day
Remember when we said that Singapore had the longest trip when Uber crossed 5 billion rides?
Aloysius Chong is the man behind the wheel from that 27 kilometer ride, and he’s only been an Uber driver-partner for only 3 months.
Sharing his reaction, “It’s great and quite a surprise to know that I’m a part of this 5-billion trip achievement.”
Along with Aloysius, 5 other driver-partners in Singapore were also part of the 156 rides, and one of them is Ong Kian Meng,
“I am very happy to learn that I was one of 156 driver-partners who are a part of this… Since joining Uber, my income has been very stable, and I’m grateful for that.”
He is currently a full-time driver-partner with Uber for around a year after being introduced to the service by his sister who is a frequent rider.
As a gesture, the 156 drivers (including the 6 Singaporeans) who are involved in the record-breaking day will receive a one-off incentive of US$500.
Uber As A Career In Singapore
If you’ve seen the ads all over social media, it’s is very apparent that the company is positioning being a driver-partner as a viable career choice, and even speaking to drivers themselves when we’re on ride many would agree given the volatile nature of the current job market.
Some went further into saying that it taking an Uber is cheaper than owning a car.
On the flip side, many are also becoming driver-partners to supplement their income as business owners. They are collective known as the UberENTREPRENEURS.
These entrepreneurs view Uber as the perfect blend of a steady income flow that is also flexible in timing to fit their schedules.
Just recently in a ride home, a driver I was with is the proud owner of 4 businesses and he is doing this so that he can comfortably support his family due to the high cost of living in Singapore.
Becoming a driver-partner at Uber helps him to lighten that burden.
If you were to hop into an Uber car, chances are you will come across cases like his quite easily. Of course it’s not just entrepreneurs who are driver-partners. There’s your usual mix of people who are doing outside of their day jobs and even students.
Uber In The Post-Travis Kalanick Era
What people are most curious about though is what happens with Uber now that Travis Kalanick is no longer CEO (though he is still in the board of directors).
They definitely have some exciting R&D in the works with self-driving cars and even flying cars.
Despite all the troubles the embattled ex-CEO may have, the ride-hailing giant continues to grow at an explosive rate worldwide and making inroads into lesser known markets like Myanmar recently.
Truth be told, whether in Singapore or anywhere in the world, driver-partners and riders don’t really care what happens with upper management as long as the service continue to work as it should and continues to improve upon itself.
And that’s precisely what Uber is doing, with or without Travis Kalanick.