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Uber registers one billionth ride

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Dec. 31, 2015 at 11:02 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- More than 1 billion Uber rides have been taken as two people in London, England, registered the milestone for the ride-sharing giant.

"Marvin and Ara just made our day. Their £5 London uberX ride together on Christmas Eve from London Fields, Hackney to Hoxton in Ara's blue Honda Insight Hybrid was the billionth Uber trip," Uber wrote in a statement marking the occasion. "One billion. That's a whole lot of riders and drivers sharing the road, special moments, and celebrations together. Certainly far more than we ever imagined when we got started in San Francisco five and a half years ago."

To celebrate, Uber said it will make a donation to Hackney Pirates, a charity that "develops the literacy, confidence, and perseverance of young people aged 9-12 across the borough of Hackney" -- where the billionth Uber trip began.

"Marvin, Ara -- thank you for being part of this special moment. And thanks to everyone who rode or drove Uber on one of the 999,999,999 trips before this one. We're looking forward to sharing the next several billion with you all," Uber wrote.

Earlier this month, Seattle became the first U.S. city to allow drivers for smartphone-based ride companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize, a decision met with controversy.

After the unanimous 8-0 city council vote, cheers erupted from supporters holding "Driver Unity" signs, but Mayor Ed Murray said he would not sign the bill and that it is likely to be challenged in court.

The new ordinance would require companies to give the city a list of its local drivers. The union could then use the list to build support among the drivers to be their representative to bargain for better pay and working conditions.

Shawn Price contributed to this report.

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