Over the weekend, the New York Post reported on the “longest Uber ride on record.”
Janis Rogers of Williamsburg, Virginia, reeled in a fare that took her up the US East Coast and into Brooklyn.
“The bill for the grueling 397-mile, 7-hour-42-minute jaunt: $294.09,” the Post reported.
Now, Kevin Jones, an Uber driver from Omaha, Nebraska, has come forward with a whopper of his own, cementing himself in the record books for Uber rides that probably should have never happened.
On Sunday, Oct. 9, Jones picked up a woman he said was in her “mid- to late-twenties” from a hotel in Omaha and dropped her off 550 miles away at another hotel in Denver. The trip across state lines took 7 hours and 23 minutes, which included a stop at Wendy’s.
“She told me she missed her bus and that she really needed to get to Denver that night,” Jones, who drives a 2011 Chrysler minivan for Uber on weekends, told The Outline. “I didn’t have anything better to do that day, so I said, ‘Okay, here we go.’”
The fare included a surge charge, which brought the total to $877.61 — Jones took home $702.09 for his services after subtracting Uber’s cut. For comparison, a same-day bus ticket with Greyhound costs about $90 on its website today. The most expensive same-day train ticket on Amtrak costs $209. American Airlines has flights for $270.
Jones said he hoped to find out what would compel someone to call an Uber in this situation, “but she didn’t really seem to be interested in talking.” To fill the silence, Jones listened to playoff baseball on the radio while she slept in the backseat.
Jones was modest about the voyage and couldn’t say if it really was “The Longest Ride in Uber History.” Uber did not respond to a request for comment. But Harry Campbell, who runs a popular blog about the ride-sharing business, thinks it’s got a good shot. Uber drivers have emailed him bragging about their longest rides following the Post story, but none topped Jones’ trip.
“I think most drivers probably would turn down a ride this long, but there's definitely a few who would be up for it,” Campbell told The Outline in an email.
Because Uber drivers don’t know where a passenger is headed until the trip begins, Campbell said in cases like this, it’s a good idea to text your driver ahead of time to make sure they’re willing to make a long journey.
Or, Campbell said, “You can always add a little tip to sweeten the pie.”
Jones drove 550 miles back to Omaha that night for work the next morning. He didn’t get a tip.