Uber Saw a Huge Bump in App Downloads During D.C.'s Metro Shutdown

Uber Saw a Huge Bump in App Downloads During D.C.'s Metro Shutdown
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This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

The Washington, D.C. metro closure on Wednesday may have irritated most residents, but it sure made Uber happy.

Once the morning commute died down, the ride-hailing company revealed the bump in use it saw thanks to the metro’s shut down. Uber says that compared to the same day last week, it saw a 70 percent bump in app downloads in the D.C. area, and three times as many riders took their first trip during morning commute. Uber offered a $25 credit to new users toward their first ride during the shutdown, while rival Lyft offered $20.

Uber also saw a 50 percent increase in on-the-road drivers during Wednesday’s morning commute as compared to last Wednesday’s rush, and thanks to these extra available drivers, surge pricing remained under 1.7x. Earlier, Uber said it would cap surge pricing at 3.9, though it looks like it didn’t have to worry about that.

As for UberPool, the company’s carpooling option which it expanded to the entire D.C. area and beyond into Maryland and Virginia, it saw significant ridership. One in four Uber riders Wednesday morning took an UberPool ride, the company says.

It’s estimated that more than 700,000 people ride the Washington, D.C. metro every day, including about a third of the area’s federal workforce. The metro system is scheduled to re-open on Thursday at 5 a.m. ET.

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