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Uber gives 2 million rides on New Year's Eve

Uber hit its pre-holiday prediction, and provided 2 million rides globally

True to its pre-holiday predictions, the ride-sharing service Uber had its best day ever and gave 2 million rides globally over New Year's Eve.

The company announced Thursday that its 2,000 employees and "hundreds of thousands of incredible driver partners" had given 2 million rides.

More than 100,000 drivers and riders were actually in an Uber car at the stroke of midnight, the company said.

More than 50,000 people used the service twice or more, through the night, when service appeared to peak in most areas around 2:30 a.m. Service was at its lowest point, it seemed, around 11 p.m., when the fewest number of rides of the night were being taken.

The company reported New Year's Eve was good for new business, too. About 20,000 downloaded the Uber app, many of them presumably for the first time, to become Uber customers.

Uber had predicted ahead of time that it anticipated its busiest night ever, and expected to provide about 2 million rides.

It also warned existing customers, on its website and in direct email announcements to users, that "surge pricing" would be in effect at peak hours, when demand would be at its highest. The email notice told customers they might pay as much as $100 for even a short ride.

But many consumers in Los Angeles said the opposite was true, and reported paying normal rates even during the busy post-midnight period.

Competing service Lyft also said ahead of the holiday that New Year's Eve 2014 would be its biggest night ever. The company did not respond to requests for data after the holiday had passed.

Twitter: @misterfleming

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