Earlier today, still with the undiminished zeal of a fresh convert, I was describing the first time I ever used Uber. I hadn't realised how timely I was being! This post, which I saw shared by Alex Belardinelli, its Head of Communications for the UK, Ireland & Benelux, alerted me to it being five years to the day that Uber entered the UK market. I
It has become such a ubiquitous part of our lives - over 1 billion journeys and counting! - that it's easy to forget simply how transformational it has been to London life. Yes, like Google and Hoover before it, it's become a verb. But the simple way, at the time revolutionary, that you could hail a ride and see how long your car was taking to get to you, in real time, was amazing. And the fact that you could pay via PayPal removed the annoying hunt for a cash machine that you would have had with a black cab at the time.
No business and no person is perfect, and Uber has its fair share of challenges, but I for one think it has been a welcome addition to London life. Not only has it led to at least five marriages and given 40,000 people a new income stream, it's made getting around our great city a little easier. So thanks Uber! And if any of your drivers find a pair of dentures, a goldfish, a set of dentures, a sack of wigs and a load of sombreros in the back of an UberX, could they please message me...?
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.