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Cabs VS. Uber at Coachella

Published On: Apr 14 2014 08:00:00 PM CDT
INDIO, Calif. -

Shortly after Outkast took the stage to close out Friday night of Coachella weekend one, social media blew up. Not about their performance, though.

We found this post on Facebook: "I will seriously pay someone $50 to give me and my friends a ride home right now. I'm stuck here."
 
This was on Twitter: "(Uber) doesn't work and I've been waiting for twenty minutes for a cab. I don't remember #coachella being this stressful." 

"While it looked like a cab-less valley Friday night from the eyes of Coachella, taxi administrator Michael Jones says there was no shortage. Two hundred seventy cabs were available Friday night - 70 more then normal. Then more came in town, so there were about 300 out and about." 

"I was told this was going to be fair and about everybody having the chance to make a living," cab driver Steven Williams said.

Festivalgoers were upset they couldn't get a cab, but turns out, cab drivers say they couldn't get customers. 

"We had an unexpected large amount of Uber cars out on the road that congested the roadways and made it impossible for cabs to get to the designated pickup and drop-off area," Sunline Taxi Administrator Mike Jones said.

Jones says Uber planned to bring 200 vehicles to the valley.

"It was very obvious there were more than 200, more than 400 Uber cars out there," he added.

So you have thousands of people needing a ride, Uber the only choice and prices reflected that. We found a picture someone tweeted about their $554 Uber ride from Coachella to Palm Springs.

"I've watched them flag, picking people up off the street which I pay a premium to be able to do that. The fact that they were able to go anywhere, pick up anybody, charge them whatever they want, it's not right," Williams said.

Saturday morning, there was a meeting to figure out how to avoid having thousands of stranded people again.

"With the city, Indio Police, Uber, Sunline, Goldenvoice, We all came together and Saturday was better and Sunday was unbelievable better. We are going to take what happened Sunday and move that into Coachella 2 and Stagecoach and we should be good," Jim Curtis from the City of Indio said.

Jones says the valley should have 300 cabs on the roads at all times during festival season, and they plan to have that amount and perhaps more for the next two weekends. 

We contacted Uber, asking about the allegation that their drivers blocked cabs from getting to the venue. We got this statement in part: "Thousands of people in the Coachella Valley relied on Uber to connect them with high quality transportation providers over an incredibly busy weekend. Festival-goers were able to get safe and convenient rides all weekend long."