Uber, but for VIPs: DNC bigwigs get a special ride-hailing platform

At the Democratic National Convention (DNC) next week, some Very Important People won’t have to slum it on the same Uber platform everyone else uses—they’ll get their own special ride-hailing service through a new VIP “Stars and Stripes” platform that Uber developed just for the party convention.

Here’s how it works: VIPs selected by the DNC host committee will get a unique profile created just for them on the Uber app. When they hail a ride through this special profile, they’ll be connected with the closest Democratic National Convention Committee volunteer driver—not a regular Uber driver—in one of the hundreds of Philly 2016 VIP rental cars provided by Hertz for the Convention.

Since DNC volunteers are driving the vehicles, rather than Uber drivers, there won’t be a charge at the end of the trip.

To be clear, it isn’t the case that Uber is giving DNC VIPs priority over regular customers by sending ordinary Uber drivers to them first. Rather, they’re using the Uber platform and its vaunted algorithm to better coordinate the Hertz rental service that was already going to be available to VIPs throughout the convention.

PlanPhilly is waiting on confirmation from the DNC host committee on how many VIPs will be receiving this perk, and who qualifies as a VIP, so check back for updates.

In addition to the “Stars and Stripes” perk, Uber will also be providing other transportation-related services for the convention including specially-designed 2016 Convention maps emblazoned with Uber promotion codes for a discounted first ride, as well as a Rider Lounge for attendees at the Wells Fargo Arena with bottled water, snacks, and phone charging stations.

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