Monday, May 4, 2015

Spoleto offers $20 off for first-time Uber riders

Promo code is less valuable than nationwide $30 discount offered on Uber’s website

Posted by Paul Bowers on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 2:54 PM

click to enlarge Spoleto USA headquarters at 14 George St. - COURTESY OF JULIA LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Courtesy of Julia Lynn Photography
  • Spoleto USA headquarters at 14 George St.

The smartphone-based ride-hailing service Uber is offering $20 off to first-time riders during the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. According to a press release from the festival, new users who download the Uber app and sign up using the promotional code SPOLETOUSA15 will receive $20 off the cost of their first ride.

Meanwhile, Uber already offers its own $30 discount to first-time Uber users who enter the promo code RIDIN30, as advertised on the nationwide Uber website. It remains unclear whether the two promotions can be combined, but Spoleto spokesperson Jennifer Scott says that the two codes "probably wouldn't be able to be used in tandem."

Scott says Uber approached the festival's organizers about setting up the promotion. She says a donation will be given to the festival's nonprofit organization every time a user enters the promotional code.

"Many people who do not live downtown can be reluctant to drive and find parking," Scott says. "Uber offers a way to be a part of the festival fun for people living outside of the downtown area." According to Scott, informational flyers from Spoleto also list local taxi cab companies as an option for getting around town. The Spoleto website also mentions CARTA's downtown DASH service.

Spoleto's announcement came just under a week after Charleston City Council passed an ordinance April 28 requiring Uber drivers to purchase business licenses. City Councilman Bill Moody, chairman of the Traffic and Transportation Committee, says the company has been "opposed to us doing any kind of regulation from day one."

City Council's ordinance will take effect on May 28, seven days into the 17-day performing arts festival.

"Basically what [Uber] said to us was, having a business license for all these individual drivers, that we won't be able get drivers, it's too onerous and we wont be able to have any drivers," Moody says. "So, that being the case, I guess they won't have any drivers for Spoleto."

According to the press release from Spoleto, riders who use the Uber app during the festival can also enter a "Ride to Win" competition for two tickets and a round-trip ride (up to $50 each) to the Wells Fargo Festival Finale at Middleton Place on Sun. June 7.

click to enlarge Meanwhile, at ... - SCREENSHOT
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  • Meanwhile, at ...

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