Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Illegal? Uber scoffs, tells D.C. fans to drink up

January 24, 2012 - 11:26 AM
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Thirsty for transportation options. (Photo: flickr/mountainhiker)

The new luxury car service Uber is still operating in D.C. and, in fact, "busier than ever," according to General Manager Rachel Holt in a message to local Uber fans. I suppose having the D.C. Taxicab Commissioner call you out as "illegal" and impounding one of your cars makes for great marketing, even if it is $15 minimum for one of the smartphone-booked classy rides. 

The only better marketing move may be to give away free alcohol. Oh wait, Uber's doing that, too.

This Thursday, Jan. 26, Uber D.C. is holding a party called "Uber D.C. Cocktails, Innovation, and Transportation" from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on K Street to turn their noses at the forces that would have shut them down and celebrate the glory that is Uber. The party comes after an aggressive Uber public relations campaign centered around Twitter, Tumblr, and blog entries, which even resulted in some staunch Uber fans acting on their own and calling Commissioner Ron Linton's cell phone to complain. For days it seemed that Uber and the Commission would never even meet and just lob words at one another through the media. But Holt did tell me last week that a meeting between the two parties is scheduled, set to happen in a matter of weeks.

In the meantime, why not drinks?

"As our way of saying thank you, please come join the Uber D.C. team and Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick for drinks on us, and a conversation on how we can preserve innovation and transportation choice in D.C.," Holt wrote in a message on the event page. "Our early adopters like you are also our most vocal supporters and for that we say a huge thank you."

We've seen the Uber fan's passion. Now go see that passion get drunk.

Uber is generous enough to, on top of the free alcohol, offer $5 off Uber trips going to and from this party.

One rather cool feature of Eventbrite is that you can see who's already confirmed attendance. On Thursday, expect to see such staunch Uber advocates as Nicolas Jammet, one of the founders of Sweetgreen; Megan McArdle, a senior editor for The Atlantic who's already voiced her appreciation for the service's convenience; a smattering of several others, from Georgetown students to real estate agents, from LivingSocial employees to U.S. House of Representatives staffers, from our Thrillist editor to the publisher of the Georgetown Dish, from a Yelp director to a Wells Fargo wealth planner. What an impressive gathering of people, all united by their love of Uber's black sedans, class, and technological convenience.

Drink up, D.C. It's a transportation party — and happening just four days before the D.C. Council gathers to talk about the future of cabs!

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