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photo (not related to the note below) by Cristina

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to let people know about a terrible experience I had with a car sharing company recently, and I really hope no one’s experiencing anything similar this long weekend. A few weeks back, my boyfriend and I rented a Free2Move car for a weekend trip to Pennsylvania. We’ve done this a few times before, but this time around the car stopped working on our first night away. The company has customers use their app to unlock and start the car, and the car completely failed to connect to our phones even though we were in an open parking lot where we both had great signal. Free2Move was unable to unlock or start the car – or even locate it on their app – and proceeded to completely abandon us. They didn’t offer another car, wouldn’t pay for any other kind of way to get around or get home, and to this day have never even followed up to find out if we made it back to DC. We weren’t able to do anything on the trip other than spend our time on the phone with customer service, and walk along the highway to get food. Read More

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photo by Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

I was curious whether folks have noticed that Lyft and Uber prices have *skyrocketed* lately (well beyond any explanation of a fuel surcharge)? Trying to go from Shaw to Brentwood tonight was $44 on Lyft or $17 on Uber. The other night getting from Chinatown to U Street was $40 on both apps. What’s going on? Is this knock on effects of confusing mask-related guidance? Or is there something else happening?”

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“Dear PoPville,

I’ve heard rumors that this has begun happening to others as well.

On Saturday, 11/13 I was out at lunch with a few friends in Adams Morgan. Around 3pm I called an Uber, as I’ve done dozens of times in DC and across the country. I was going to another friend’s surprise birthday party and running very late. Uber promptly connected me to a driver that was 3 minutes away and I thought ‘great that’s convenient maybe I’ll make this party on time!’ After waiting a few minutes, I checked my Uber app and I saw that I had a message from the driver requesting my phone number. I gave it to him, not thinking that it was odd the driver was not calling me through the app as usual. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

On Saturday night I was out with a friend in Logan Circle when I used the Uber app to select an UberX to come take me home around 10:20 PM. I was connected with a driver pretty quickly, but she messaged me in the app saying that the map would not show her moving until I gave her my phone number–that there was “an update to the app.” I had recently read about some other sketchiness in Uber on PoPville, so I didn’t respond as I was chatting with my friend about how I thought it was a scam. Read More

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Speaking of October 31st, don’t forget about the free rides from Lyft. From WRAP:

“Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 41-percent of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers*, free Halloween Lyft rides will be offered to deter impaired driving throughout the Washington-metropolitan area, beginning Saturday, October 30, 2021.

Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the Halloween SoberRide® program will be in operation beginning at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, October 30 until 4:00 a.m. on Sunday October 31, 2021 as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday. Read More

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