UberX Hits One Million Rides in Region, Still Illegal in Philadelphia

And they claim to have helped cut DUI arrests significantly.

Uber’s low-cost, cheaper-than-a-cab UberX service may have its naysayers — including the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which maintains that the service is still very much illegal — but according to statistics just released by the company, Philadelphians certainly seem to be using the service. On Tuesday, Uber’s corporate office announced that UberX has hit one million rides in Philadelphia since its formal debut in October 2014. The company is counting any ride that originated in the five-county area.

Other interesting stats released by Uber:

• The company claims that 91 percent of UberX rides requested in Philadelphia County have arrived within 10 minutes. If you look at the five-county area, that number drops to 87 percent, which is still pretty incredible considering how long it used to take a suburban cab to show up — and that’s if they showed up. Uber says that 50 percent of all UberX rides have shown up in four minutes or less.

• Uber says that “UberX has provided income opportunity to over 6,000 Philadelphians in the past six months,” adding that the drivers have earned nearly $10 million since October. And according to Uber, more than a third of its drivers come from areas of Philadelphia with unemployment rates over 9 percent.

• UberX says it’s changed the way that people in areas typically underserved by ground transportation get around. Just ask a Temple student and they’ll tell you: Cabs don’t like to pick up or drop off in North Philadelphia. Uber says that about 20 percent of its UberX rides have started or ended in underserved communities. They’ve also included a map showing which areas use the service the most and which use it the least, based on rides requested in March 2015:

• But here is, perhaps, the most interesting claim: UberX says it has made the city safer. Uber says that the majority of trip requests came in at the same time that DUI deaths tend to be at their highest and that more than half of the UberX trips late at nights on weekends originated in bar-heavy areas like Old City, Northern Liberties and Rittenhouse Square. Further, Uber says that since the company’s Uber Black launch in Philadelphia in 2012 (Uber Black preceded the UberX launch by two years), DUI arrests have gone down by more than 11 percent.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.