Uber had a good week at the DNC

We knew the Democratic National Convention was kind to Uber, the ride hailing app giant. The company, granted permission to operate legally in Philadelphia just before the event, had a deal with the convention organizers that gave them their own pickup/dropoff lot at the Wells Fargo Center, space for a waiting lounge, and rights to dispatch car service for convention VIPs.

Wednesday Uber released some stats that quantified their success last week.

  • On average, each day of the convention 5,000 unique riders took Uber to or from the Wells Fargo Center. Uber noted in a statement that the arena holds 20,000, and extrapolated that a quarter of the people there were using Uber.
  • As the convention ended Uber was providing about 25 trips per minute from the Uber Lounge and the area near the Wells Fargo Center. That rate was measured between 11:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Thursday night. The overall average wait time for pickup from the Uber Lounge during the convention was nine minutes.
  • Surge pricing, a fee structure that Uber uses to boost prices during times of peak demand, was in effect for only 7 percent of the rides departing the DNC. That was a result of Uber offering a financial subsidy to drivers to encourage them to be available to pickup passengers at the venue. The extra money for drivers wasn’t handed along to passengers, Uber said.

Uber wasn’t the only company that did well during the convention. Lyft, another ride hailing app business, reported increased business last week. Less successful were taxi drivers. A spokesperson for the city’s drivers said last week they weren’t much more busy than during a normal week. Uber sparked frustration from cab and Lyft drivers last week, who said the company was interfering in their ability to get passengers to the Wells Fargo Center. Uber officials said they were just directing other car services away from their exclusive lot, but cab drivers said Uber employees tried to bar their access to one of the main entrances to the venue.