We've had enough trips in taxis, buses, shuttles, Ubers and Lyfts to last a lifetime, but none like the one Ryan Simonetti apparently went on yesterday. The Washington Post reports that Simonetti is the CEO of Convene and was in town on business, preparing to head back to a company office in the area Tuesday afternoon. A self-described "diehard Uber fan," he booked a trip but when they went to the car there was a D.C. Taxi Inspector discussing something with the driver. As the ride started, the inspector followed, and turned on his lights. The driver told Simonetti "I'm sorry, we're going to have to run this red light" before take off down I-395, resisting the rider's calls to stop, saying he would get a $2,000 fine. After an eight to ten-minute chase at "well above the speed limit," Simonetti's threats finally convinced the driver to let them off at an exit ramp, before he took off the wrong way on that ramp and escaped into Virginia.
The inspector stayed with Simonetti and the other passengers before taking a regular taxi the rest of the way. D.C. Taxicab Commission spokesman Neville Waters told the Post it is investigating the matter, and in a statement, Uber said it has deactivated the driver pending the outcome. According to Waters, the inspector was checking to make sure the pickup was done through Uber's app and not as a street hail, which would be illegal.
Uber became aware of a potential incident involving an UberBLACK trip in Washington, DC yesterday afternoon. Rider safety is our #1 priority. We will cooperate with authorities in their investigation and have deactivated the driver pending the outcome.
Thanks everyone for the concern. We're safe. @uber and law enforcement are dealing with it now.- Ryan W Simonetti (@rwsimonetti) July 8, 2014