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Uber bribes New Yorkers with free pizza to celebrate fifth birthday

Five years, five boroughs, $5 flat fares

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Uber is rolling out a promotional campaign to celebrate its fifth birthday in New York, offering discounted rates and free pizza throughout the five boroughs. In a blog post published on Monday, the ride-hailing company said its UberPool carpool service will be priced at a flat rate of $5 for trips beginning and ending in a select borough, beginning with Staten Island on Monday and ending with Manhattan on Friday.

Uber users will also be able to receive a free slice of pizza from select restaurants in each borough, as part of the company's #UberPizzaParty campaign. All they have to do is show their Uber app when they walk into the restaurant, though Uber warns that demand will be high, and supply limited. Uber will be updating its blog post every day this week with information on where to get the free pizza. (Today's location is Joe and Pat's in Staten Island.)

Uber NYC Gif

Uber published a separate blog post detailing its evolution in New York over the past five years, noting that it's seen particularly strong growth in areas outside Manhattan. According to a chart published by the company Monday, around 34 percent of all New York Uber rides either begin or end in an outer borough (excluding airport rides). In July 2015, Uber completed an average of 100,000 rides a day across the city, according to The Wall Street Journal, marking a four-fold increase over the previous year. The graphic above shows the growth in pickups over the five years, with the dots representing the departure point of each trip.

The company has faced regulatory hurdles in New York, as it has in many major cities across the world, though it appears to have earned goodwill in City Hall thanks to UberPool. Last month, the company announced that 100,000 New Yorkers use the service each month — double the number from just six months earlier — and it has partnered with the city on a sustainable car initiative spearheaded by one of its fiercest critics. A bill put forward by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year aimed to cap Uber's growth at 1 percent to study its effect on congestion, but the company vehemently fought the bill, and it never came to a vote.