Five years ago today a 30 minute journey from St Paul’s to Chelsea marked the first ever Uber trip in London.
Back in 2012 – before we launched our affordable uberX option the following summer – we only had luxury cars available. Since then we’ve helped millions of Londoners get from A to B at the touch of a button with new options like ACCESS and POOL as well as electric vehicles to help tackle air pollution in our city.
With apps like ours people can easily get around and connect to public transport without ever needing their own wheels. In fact more than four in ten Londoners now say that using their smartphone is a genuine alternative to owning a car.
But we didn’t get here alone – it’s down to the thousands of licensed private hire drivers who use our app and help to keep London moving.
It’s been quite a journey.
15 facts about Uber in London:
- The first Uber trip in London was on 29 June 2012 – from St Paul’s to a restaurant in Chelsea.
- More than three million people now use Uber in London to help them get from A to B at the touch of a button.
- At least 2 babies have been born during an Uber ride on the way to hospital. The first reported birth was last October en route to St Thomas’ Hospital. Not only did baby Maya arrive early, she even arrived emission-free in a fully electric car!
- 46% of Londoners aged 16-30 told YouGov that using apps like Uber can be a good alternative to owning a car.
- Londoners have left tens of thousands of items in the back of their Uber. Some of the most bizarre include a goldfish, dentures, a sack of wigs and far too many sombreros. Thankfully, every trip with Uber is recorded so it’s easy to get hold of your driver and track down your lost items.
- 40,000 licensed drivers use our app to make money on their own terms – choosing if, when and where to drive. We’ve met drivers who are former soldiers, actors, pensioners and parents – you can hear some of their stories here.
- The longest trip booked from London was more than 450 miles from Heathrow Airport to Glasgow.
- There have been at least five engagements between couples who met on an UberPOOL journey including Mark and Daniel who have just set a date for next July.
- More than half the miles travelled on uberX journeys in London are now in hybrid or fully electric cars.
- Uber’s busiest day is Saturday and the busiest hour of the week is midnight to 1am on Sunday morning when public transport is more limited.
- Users from 78 different countries have booked a trip via the Uber app in London with the top visitors coming from the US, France, Australia, Canada and Brazil.
- Londoners took the most trips with Uber on Saturday 10 December 2016 travelling to and from Christmas parties. This was followed by Saturday 18 March 2017 – the day of the Ireland vs England Six Nations game.
- Almost four in ten rides with Uber in the capital start or end within 200 metres of a tube stop, as Londoners use our app to get the last mile home.
- The most popular destinations over the last five years have been major transport hubs: Euston, Heathrow, Paddington, Kings Cross/St Pancras and Victoria stations. The top 20 also includes Harrods, Selfridges, The O2 and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.
- The billionth Uber trip in the world was in London on Christmas Eve 2015. It was a 5 minute journey from London Fields to Hoxton.