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5 billion rides.
5 billion rides.
Image: Jeff Chiu/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Despite its many, many mistakes, Uber is still a global powerhouse.

The ride-hailing company just reached a big milestone: 5 billion Uber rides around the world. 

With Uber’s endless bad headlines, and Lyft gaining real momentum in the war against Uber, it’s easy to forget how much else Uber has going on. Lyft is only competing with Uber in the U.S.; billions of Uber’s trips have taken place outside America. 

Uber officially reached 5 billion rides with 156 simultaneous trips at exactly 7:29:06 a.m. GMT on May 20. The company announced the news on Thursday. 

Those 156 trips that crossed the 5 billion mark spanned 24 countries on six continents. Uber users called rides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Singapore, Jakarta, Mumbai, Moscow, Medellin, Islamabad, and other cities. 

Those geographic distinctions are more than just “fun facts,” as Uber’s press team described them. They reflect Uber’s continued dominance outside the United States, where Lyft isn’t trying to succeed and where other competitors like Careem and Grab are also regional. No one else is fully global, and no one else — except China’s Didi Chuxing — has reached billions in rides as quickly. 

Uber passed 1 billion trips in December 2015, and 2 billion six months later. Now halfway through 2017, it’s reached more than double that. 

Of course, the number of trips taken can only go up, not down — so this is one metric that’s easy for Uber to tout mid-scandal. The ride-hailing company is still without more than half of its top leadership (including resigned CEO Travis Kalanick), in the middle of a lawsuit with Waymo over stealing self-driving technology, and facing continued accusations of a workplace culture that supported sexism and sexual harassment. 

And Uber’s growing business globally doesn’t mean people around the world aren’t paying attention to the company’s problems. Uber just had its foot in the door basically everywhere before things really turned south. 

Let’s see how long it takes to get to 6 billion. 

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