PRIVATE hire firm Uber is celebrating reaching 500,000 miles by giving away free rides.
The controversial company launched in Portsmouth in November – despite objections being raised from other taxi companies.
Customers book rides by using an app on their smart phones – and they also pay through the app meaning the rides are debited directly from their accounts.
More than 25,000 people in Portsmouth have now downloaded the app.
The company also had more than 1,000 drivers sign up to the platform, who have covered more than 500,000 miles.
To celebrate reaching the milestone, Uber is offering free travel on Tuesdays for the month of August.
Fred Jones, general manager of Uber in Portsmouth, said: ‘We’ve been so overwhelmed by the response to Uber in Portsmouth.
‘In less than a year, riders and licensed drivers in the city have travelled more than half a million miles so we wanted to say a big thank you.
‘For the rest of the month make your Tuesday commute easier, leave your own car at home and let Uber get you from A to B for free.’
Every Tuesday in August, anyone using the Uber app to book a trip in Portsmouth will get £10 off their ride, making rides under £10 free.
Users can take a maximum of two free trips per day, up to eight free trips during the month. A trip from Portsmouth and Southsea Station to Port Solent typically costs around £9.
Uber is covering the costs to ensure that licensed private-hire drivers will benefit from the promotion as well.
To redeem free rides download the Uber app, create an account and request a car.
Uber operates in more than 20 towns and cities across the UK including: London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol, Merseyside, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Leicester, Belfast, Cardiff, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, the Black Country and parts of the home counties.
It launched in Southampton in April.