I'll start from the very beginning.
On Mother's Day, I was traveling from New York City to California to surprise my mom for the holiday. Since my plane was leaving from Newark, an airport not accessible by the subway, I decided to order transportation service from SuperShuttle.
It turned out to be a horrible choice.
On the morning of my flight, I waited patiently for the driver to show up. About 10-15 minutes after he had missed the end of the allotted window, I gave SuperShuttle a call.
As I waited on hold, I stepped outside my Manhattan apartment. There was a SuperShuttle van on my block, but at first glance, no sign of anyone inside. I approached the van, still on hold, and peered inward. The driver was fast asleep in one of the van's rows. I tapped on the glass and he quickly woke up. After explaining the situation to SuperShuttle, the company refunded my money.
I thought that was the end of my troubles, but it was far from it.
Since I had ordered a shared van service, we needed to pick up two other nearby customers before heading to the airport. 10-15 minutes later, the first of the two passengers was in the car.
[sharequote align="right"]The driver exploded, going on a profanity-laced tirade against myself and the other passenger...[/sharequote]
It was on our way to pick up the final passenger that things spiraled out of control. The driver appeared to have significant difficulty reading road signs and, thus, was unable to follow the GPS instructions. He kept missing a south-bound ramp which resulted in us driving around in circles for about 30-45 minutes in Manhattan.
The video I recorded begins when I tried to help the driver take the correct ramp to the highway. He was about to go north again and I kindly said something to the effect of, "I think it wants us to take the south-bound ramp instead."
I could not have anticipated what he did next.
The driver exploded, going on a profanity-laced tirade against myself and the other passenger for making the suggestion. He told us that he "did not give a f***." I started recording about 2 minutes into his rant. He immediately toned down when he saw my phone come out. However, as you can see, he continued hurling curse words at us.
Things continued to go downhill from there. The driver, running out of time to pick up the other passenger, started running stop signs and red lights.
The other passenger and I, fearing for our safety, asked him to just let us out of the vehicle. He initially refused and just continued driving. When we demanded more forcefully a second time that he pull over and let us out, he obliged. After dropping us off, the driver peeled out as he sped away in the van.
We took an Uber cab to the airport. In the car, the other passenger immediately contacted SuperShuttle. The company assigned him a case number and said someone would be in touch. Despite the man's warning that the driver was unfit to be driving on the road — not to mention, other passengers — the company appeared to treat the case as routine.
After finally arriving at the airport, I ultimately made my flight by maybe 30 seconds. The other passenger missed his.
The next day I contacted SuperShuttle's media relations department seeking a statement. I shared the video of the driver's tirade with them. The spokesperson reached out to the director of customer care who refunded the cost of the Uber cab to the airport. She told me the company was conducting an investigation into the matter.
When I later emailed the company spokesperson, she could not say however whether the driver in question had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
More than a week has gone by and SuperShuttle has not said exactly what steps they took to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Is the driver still shuttling other customers? Was he placed on suspension? Was he fired?
All those things remain unclear. The one thing that is certain, however, is that I won't be taking a SuperShuttle ride in the near future.
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