Uber refunds rider who received $600 bill after hours stuck on I-95

Associated Press/Steve Helber

Uber refunded a rider who was billed $600 after he and his driver were stuck on I-95 for nine hours during a traffic snarl caused by a winter storm that hit the Mid-Atlantic on Monday morning.

Andrew Peters of Richmond, Va., arrived at Dulles International Airport from San Francisco and was headed home when he hit the gridlock on I-95 with his Uber driver.

Peters told news outlet WTOP the experience was “scary,” as he had no food or water during the trip. His ride was among hundreds of vehicles left stranded on a roughly 40-mile stretch of the icy interstate from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who was stuck on the highway for nearly 27 hours.

When Peters got home, he was charged a $200 fee for the ride and was later billed another $400, he told WTOP.

He was later refunded the entire amount of the bill, according to a statement by Uber provided to The Associated Press.
“We have refunded Mr. Peters after this terrible ordeal and are so glad that he and his Uber driver got home safely,” the statement said.
The driver’s pay will also not be affected, Uber told the AP.

Uber charges based on the time and distance of the trip, according to the company’s website, and heavy traffic can result in heftier fees.

Virginia officials defended the state’s response to the congested highways on Monday and Tuesday. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) called it an “unusual event” and transportation officials told WTOP that, among other reasons, rainfall before the heavy snowfall prevented them from pre-treating the roads.

The stretch of highway experiencing the worst backups, running from Richmond to Washington, D.C., was finally cleared on Tuesday night.

— Updated at 3:07 p.m. on Jan. 6

Tags Andrew Peters D.C. I-95 backup Ralph Northam richmond San Francisco Tim Kaine traffic snarl Uber Uber rider Virginia Washington winter storm winter storms

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