Uber, the ride-sharing company with a notorious presence at TomorrowWorld‘s 2015 disaster, was reported to have been involved in a similarly inconvenient and costly predicament at this year’s Coachella in Indio, California.
According to LA Weekly, the service first arrived in Palm Springs in 2014, and has since stood as an often essential way for Coachella festival goers to get home after the long evenings. This year, a dedicated Uber Lounge pickup tent was placed at the far northeast corner of one of event’s most distant parking lots — the only area Uber drivers were allowed to meet their riders. As LA Weekly wrote, it “resembles nothing so much as the waiting room of an urgent care clinic.”
Once riders completed the mile-plus walk to the meeting site, they used their phones to secure a driver and received a unique pin number. One Coachella rider, Elene Perry, told LA Weekly of her group’s experience in the Uber Lounge on the first night of the festival:
“There were so many people just crushed up against the fence, and these poor Uber staffers were like, ‘Everyone just needs to back up until you have a car.’ We just pushed our way to the front and showed them my phone like, ‘We have one! We have one!'”
Perry and her group finally got into their SUV, and sat for an extended period of time in festival traffic as passers by attempted to flag down the car and pay the driver to hitch a ride. When she finally arrived back at her condo, located about 20 miles from the Polo fields, Perry was shocked to see a charge of $250 on her account.
On Friday evening of Weekend 2, riders were forced to pay a minimum of $175 for a lift home due to a surge price of more than seven times the normal rate.
Source: LA Weekly | Image: Erik Voake ©Coachella 2017