Uber made some serious dough on New Years Eve.
The on-demand transportation company today posted stats from Wednesday evening, and revealed that its drivers provided two million rides on the final day of 2014. That’s the number Uber previously said it expected.
The two million rides is a massive increase from last year. As Business Insider notes, Uber made gross revenue of $10.7 million on New Years Eve 2013 from about 200,000 rides.
But back then, Uber was only operating in 60 markets. Now, the company is in more than 250 cities and its revenue from New Years Eve 2014 could very well have eclipsed $100 million with ten times the number of rides provided compared to last year.
Other Uber stats from Wednesday:
- At peak levels, drivers were dropping off more than 58 trips per second.
- More than 20,000 customers installed the Uber app after midnight.
- More than 100,000 people were in an Uber at midnight — and also missed the balldrop, apparently.
- More than 50,000 users took more than two rides
Uber also noted that more than 50 percent of surged trips — those that had customers paying more than normal for their rides due to high demand — happened between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. No real surprise there, as Uber said earlier this week that it expected the most demand during that time range.
There was certainly an influx of Uber drivers out on New Years Eve. In fact, I watched the app throughout the night and noticed no surge pricing until after midnight, meaning there were enough drivers to meet demand. Here’s what it looked like in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood at 11:23 p.m.
But then, here’s what I saw at 1:16 a.m. in the same area — 7.8X surge, meaning $10.53 per mile and $1.87 per minute.
Prior to Wednesday, Uber held a briefing for reporters to reiterate how and why it implements its surge pricing technique, which jacks up the cost of a ride to help encourage more drivers to work when demand is exceeding supply. The idea is to give customers a prompt driver at all times, no matter how many passengers are requesting a ride.
The company also notified its users in the app that surge pricing was likely to be in effect after midnight on Wednesday. In addition, when rates are more than double, Uber asks customers to type in the surge multiplier to confirm that they know how much more they’ll be paying.
Despite this, people were still frustrated with their Uber receipts:
Welllll I'm not using @uber for a while, especially when I GOTTA PAY 117 BUCKS FOR A 10 MINUTE RIDE IN A DAMN PRIUS
— Thom (@Tom_Cattlehorn) January 1, 2015
— Eric Lawton Forbes (@EricLForbes) January 1, 2015
— Andre Ospital-Cone (@aospital99) January 1, 2015
Others poked fun at those who complained about surge pricing:
— Kai Yen (@kyen99) January 1, 2015
As far as drivers raking in more money on New Years Eve, it’s unclear how much their profits increased. Some drivers in San Francisco complained that they didn’t make more money because of over-saturation of Uber and Lyft drivers.
Meanwhile, Sidecar told GeekWire that it saw a 35 percent increase in rides and double the amount of drivers compared to New Years Eve 2013. We’ve reached out to Lyft and Flywheel — the taxi-hailing app that promised $10 flat-rate rides in four cities on New Years Eve — for stats from Wednesday night and we’ll update when we hear back.
Update, 3 p.m. PT — Flywheel, which offered $10 flat-rate rides on Wednesday evening, said it had 60 times more sign-ups than normal and 10 times more ride demand on New Year’s Eve. However, the company did appear to have issues with its app throughout the night.