Uber rider stuck on I-95 hit with $600 bill

Thousands of people had a terrible experience being trapped on icy roads on Interstate 95 in Virginia this week, but how many of them had insult added to injury?

Andrew Peters, from Richmond, Virginia, not only got stranded on the highway but was also hit with a massive Uber bill.

“I was coming in from San Francisco and didn’t really realize what was going on here,” Peters told WTOP, explaining that he hopped in an Uber bound for Richmond after landing at Dulles International Airport.

His Uber driver apparently did not realize the severity of the situation either, because the driver went on the highway and got stuck in the traffic disaster.

“It was kind of scary,” Peters said. “We didn’t have any food or water.”

Peters made it home after nine hours and paid a $200 Uber bill. However, Peters said Uber then tacked on $400 in additional charges, raising his bill to $600 in total.

“I’m still trying to find somebody to talk to understand why they feel like they could charge me this,” said Peters.

According to Uber’s website, “heavy traffic may cause your trip to take longer than expected and to compensate your driver for the additional time, your fare may change.”

Peters is disputing the additional charge.

“I’ll probably be banned from Uber but, you know, whatever,” Peters said.

The interstate fully reopened Tuesday night after more than a day of blockage, which caused havoc for thousands of commuters, including Sen. Tim Kaine, who were trapped on the roadway in the Stafford County area following Monday’s snowstorm that led to multiple crashes on I-95.

Vehicles were at a standstill, some for 24 hours, shutting off their engines in frigid weather to conserve dwindling fuel, many with little to no food or water.

Gov. Ralph Northam said that rain falling before the storm would have washed away any chemicals or salt used to pretreat the roads.

“First we had rain, which meant that we couldn’t adequately pretreat the roads. Then we had slushy snow that fell a lot faster than our snow plows could move it,” Northam said. “And then, as night fell, the temperatures dropped below freezing. All those together created the perfect storm for what happened on I-95.”

In response to questions about why Virginia’s National Guard had not been called, Northam said the Guard had received no requests from localities along I-95. He also said deploying the Guard wouldn’t have been an “immediate solution” to the crisis.

“Remember that our Guard members have day jobs. In fact, as you all remember last Jan. 6, we sent the National Guard to help at the Capitol after the insurrection, but it was the next day before they were able to arrive,” Northam said.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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