By SAMANTHA SMYLIE
Uber drivers and their families had anticipated a fun night at the Museum of Science and Industry, but some wishes just don’t come true.
On June 10, Uber sponsored a driver appreciation night at the museum, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, offering the drivers and three of their guests free access to the museum, food and parking.
The response was overwhelming, with thousands attending, far more than were anticipated.
Many of those who attended the event aired their grievances on social media sites. According to Uber drivers and local residents in Hyde Park, cars with Uber stickers created a severe traffic jam on Lake Shore drive, and drivers were not able to park in the garage. Inside of the museum, the scene was chaotic, with huge crowds and long wait times for food.
Due to the overwhelming amount of people at the event, Uber sent drivers a text message around 8 p.m. stating “Due to overwhelming response, the Museum of Science and Industry is at capacity and is not able to accept any more guests. We are sorry for any inconvenience.” Later Uber ended the party 30 minutes early.
The museum did not organize the event, and museum officials have referred all questions to Uber.
In response to questions about the event, Josh Gold, Uber senior public affair manager, said: “We’re thankful for the thousands of partner drivers and their families who attended tonight’s event to celebrate Uber in Chicago. However, over a thousand more than RSVP’d came and we had to close admission to the event for everyone’s safety when the rented portion of the venue reached capacity.”
“The museum is an amazing asset to Chicago, and a great draw! We want to continue to work with them to make sure our partners, their families and the community can continue to enjoy it,” said Gold in an emailed statement to the Herald.