Monday, August 17, 2015

Can I Uber or Lyft After I land? It's Complicated. Here's Your Airport Cheat Sheet


If all goes as planned, travelers soon may be able to summon ride-share providers such as UberX and Lyft to take them home after they deplane at Los Angeles International Airport.
For passengers, that’s great news—at least, financially speaking. A cab from LAX to downtown can cost $50 or more without tip.
Ride-share market leaders Uber and Lyft charge closer to $30 for the same trip, except during periods of high demand when they cost more, sometimes considerably more, a phenomenon Uber calls “surge pricing.”
But ride sharing, becoming an an issue in the presidential campaign along with other sharing economy issues, is not such great news for cab drivers and taxi companies, which now have a near-monopoly at LAX, van-shared rides aside.
The change could occur as soon as September.
For now, drivers can drop off passengers anywhere at LAX, but they can’t pick up passengers.
Under current LAX rules, only professional taxi and livery drivers can collect passengers for money.
Uber does have a business segment that dispatches professional drivers, but that service is more expensive than UberX.
But what about elsewhere? Here’s a quick guide for airports in the Southland, elsewhere in the U.S. and a few overseas. Below the chart are details from each of those airports that explain why the rules and regulations are as they are.

RIDE-SHARING AT U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

AirportDrop-offs allowed?Pickups allowed?
Los Angeles InternationalYesPending
Burbank Bob HopeYesYes, but not at main terminal
John Wayne/Orange CountyYesYes
Long BeachYesNo
OntarioYesNo, unless the driver has a permit
San DiegoYesYes
AtlantaYesNo
AustinYesYes
Baltimore-WashingtonNoNo
Chicago O'HareYesNo
DenverYesYes
Houston George BushYesYes
Las VegasNo, for nowNo, for now
MiamiNoNo
New York's JFK
and LaGuardia
YesYes
OaklandPendingPending
PhoenixYesYes
PortlandYesYes
San FranciscoYesYes
Seattle-TacomaYesNo
Washington Dulles
and Reagan National
YesYes
Auckland, New ZealandYesYes
London HeathrowYesYes
Melbourne, AustraliaYesYes
Sydney, AustraliaNoNo

 

Southern California

Burbank Bob Hope

A ride-share service can drop you off at Burbank Bob Hope Airport, but it can't pick you up at the terminal. (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles Times)
Details: Ride-share drivers may drop off passengers at Burbank, but they can't make pickups on the roadway of the main terminal.
Ride-share drivers can wait in the airport’s parking lots for arriving passengers. The airport charges $3 for 30 minutes of parking, which is usually passed on to riders.

John Wayne/Orange County

Details: After first allowing only drop-offs, Orange County’s airportearlier this year started allowing ride-share drivers to pick up passengers.
So far Lyft, Uber and Wingz have acquired permits.
Each month, companies must provide the airport with driver activity logs and pay the airport $2.25 for each pickup, just as other commercial drivers pay.

Long Beach

Details: Anyone may drop off passengers at Long Beach airport, but ride-share drivers can't pick up passengers at the terminal.
The Long Beach City Council would need to make a policy change to permit Lyft, UberX and other ride-share drivers to collect travelers. “Long Beach is exploring this as a citywide issue,” said airport spokeswoman Stephanie Montuya-Morisky.

Ontario

Details: Although Ontario airport is run by the same authority as LAX, the recent action by the L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners is not applicable in Ontario, said Jess Romo, the airport’s manager.
All drivers may drop off passengers at Ontario, but only drivers with permits may pick up travelers, effectively making it impossible for travelers to hail a Lyft or UberX from the terminals. “We do expect to undertake an initiative that will address ONT in near future,” Romo said.

San Diego

Details: Lyft and UberX acquired permits in early July that allow drivers to pick up and drop off passengers at San Diego's Lindbergh Field.
By June 30,  the airport operator will determine how to move forward with this pilot project. Ride-sharing companies must pay the airport $3.76 for each pickup.

Other U.S. airports


Atlanta

Details: Before ride-share drivers can pick up passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the City Council must direct the airport to issue permits to Uber and Lyft, said airport spokesman Reese McCranie.
The council is studying the issue, as is the city's Department of Aviation.
"Should the Atlanta City Council give its approval for ride share services to pick up passengers, the Department of Aviation will move quickly to issue permits," McCranie said.

Austin

Details: Lyft and UberX drivers may pick up and drop off passengers at Austin-Bergstrom airport in Texas. Trips from the airport are subject to a $1 surcharge. Drivers cannot wait on airport property and can come to the airport only when they have a fare.

Baltimore-Washington

Details: UberX and Lyft are technically not supposed to operate at BWI, but Jonathan O. Dean, a spokesman for the airport authority, said the airport plans to develop new rules that will allow ride-sharing.

Chicago O’Hare

Details: Ride-share drivers can drop off passengers at O’Hare, said airport spokesman Owen Kilmer, but they cannot make pickups.
alt text
Ride-share drivers can drop you off at Chicago's O'Hare airport, but they can't pick you up in downtown (or anywhere else) and take you to the airport. (Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times)
More than 6,000 people have signed a petition organized by UberX to ask for a rule change, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not budged.
O’Hare does allow UberTaxi to pick up riders at the terminals, but as its name suggests, this is simply a taxi service driven by professionals.

Denver

Details: Denver was one of the first major airports in the United States to allow ride-share drivers to make pickups with new rules it adopted last fall.
alt text
Denver's airport is about 25 miles from downtown, a good 30-minute ride when there is no traffic. Ride-share drivers can pick you up or drop you off at the airport. (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles Times)
The airport adds a fee of $2.15 on all fares.
Note, ride-share pickups are on Level 4, not the same level used by taxis and limos.

Houston George Bush

Details: UberX drivers can drop off and pick up passengers at the terminals at Houston George Bush Intercontinental, said Bill Begley, spokesman for the Houston Airport System. (Lyft doesn’t operate in Houston.)
Uber pays $2.75 per trip to the airport, the same charge as taxis, Begley said. The Houston City Council approved the new plan late last year.

Las Vegas

Details: Ride-share companies are temporarily banned from operating in Nevada. But the Nevada Transportation Authority is working on new rules, and the cars could be back on the streets later this year.
After state clearance, McCarran Airport expects to develop its own rules and fees, said spokesman Chris Jones.

Miami

Want to see Miami Beach's Art Deco district? You can't do it using Lyft or Uber. They're illegal in Miami-Dade County. (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles Times)
Details: Technically Lyft and UberX are illegal in Miami-Dade County, including at the airport. You may find them operating anyway.
If caught, drivers can receive two citations, each carrying a fine of $1,000. Passengers are not cited.
Eventually, the rules probably will evolve.
“We often point out that Miami-Dade County operates with a 20th century regulatory code in the 21st century,” said Mike Hernandez, spokesman for county Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
“That's unfortunate, but we are working to change that.”

New York’s JFK and LaGuardia

Details: Uber and Lyft operate at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia, but unlike almost everywhere else, New York requires ride-share drivers to obtain a license from the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
As a result, drivers can pick up and drop off passengers at the airports just as other livery drivers do.

Oakland

Details: The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners was expected to consider a pilot program at its Thursday meeting, said Mike Zampa, communications director for the Port of Oakland.
Under the proposal, ride-share firms that obtain proper permits would pay $3.95 to Oakland airport for all rides in both directions.

Phoenix

Details: Any driver may drop off passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. Sky Harbor also allows ride-share drivers to make airport pickups, but rules for doing so are onerous.
Before drivers may pick up passengers, they must first obtain a permit, which includes a background check and a vehicle inspection, said airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez.
Permits aren't cheap, $100 per quarter, and the background check costs $39. Drivers must also pay $11 for a special tag.
“We are having discussions about streamlining the process, while maintaining a level playing field for all ground transportation providers,” Rodriguez said.

Portland

Details: In the spring, Lyft, UberX and Wingz got the OK to drop off and pick up passengers at Portland, Ore.'s airport.
Dropoffs are easy, but there’s a special process for pickups. If you're looking for an UberX, your driver will meet you in a special area just outside of baggage claim.
For pickups and dropoffs, passengers pay a $2 fee.
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is just a ride-share trip away from the airport. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

San Francisco

Details: Another early adopter, SFO allows drivers from all major ride-share companies to pick up and drop off passengers.
Each company pays a trip fee of $3.85 for both pickups or dropoffs, said Doug Yakel, an airport spokesman.

Seattle-Tacoma

Details: Anyone can drop off passengers at Seattle-Tacoma airport, but by contract only Yellow Cab drivers can pick up passengers “on demand” at the airport, said spokesman Perry Cooper.
That contract expires at the end of October, and Perry said the Port of Seattle Commission is considering altering the rules.
“We are in the middle of the process with several outreach meetings with stakeholders in the industry to gather input,” he said.

Washington Dulles and Reagan National

Details: You can take a ride-share car to and from Washington Dulles and Reagan National, although a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority acknowledges the rules governing pickups are antiquated.
Drivers can pick up a passenger only if the passenger has prearranged the ride before the driver enters airport property.
When passengers try to hail a ride at Reagan, Uber sends them a message reading, “Airport rules require your driver to call you for your exact location and final destination prior to pick up.”
New rules allowing on-airport staging could be approved later this year.

International airports

Note, Lyft doesn’t operate outside the United States.

Auckland, New Zealand

Details: Ride-share drivers can drop off and pick up passengers at Auckland Airport, said spokesman Simon Lambourne.
“All prebooked taxis pick up from a dedicated area close to the terminals – including Uber,” he said.
Drivers must pay about $2.60 to access the area.

London Heathrow

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London's Heathrow does allow Uber pickups and dropoffs, for an extra fee. (Carl de Souza/ AFP-Getty)
Details: Uber handles pickups and dropoffs at Heathrow. Uber says passengers pay a fee of about $6 as a “small parking charge.”
Uber recommends customers request a car about 10 to 15 minutes before they need it. Drivers will meet passengers at any arrivals hall.

Melbourne, Australia

Details: UberX drivers may pick up and drop off passengers at Melbourne’s international airport, a spokeswoman for the airport said.
There are currently no special regulations or fees, but that will probably change soon.

Sydney, Australia

Want to see the Sydney Opera House on your trip to Australia? Don't count on ride-share services to pick you up at the airport -- or anywhere else. (Catharine Hamm / Los Angeles Times)
Details: UberX is not legal in New South Wales, the state where Sydney is located, so you won't be taking a ride-share to or from theSydney Airport.
“In accordance with state legislation, drivers cannot accept fares from members of the public unless they are licensed under the Passenger Transport Act,” an airport spokeswoman said.
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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Uber and Lyft at LAX
A car with Uber and Lyft stickers on its windshield leaves the departure level at LAX. Soon ride-share operations should be able to pick up and drop off at the airport.
 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

3 comments:

  1. Ride-hailing company Lyft to start making LA airport pickups
    Dec. 23, 2015 5:21 AM EST
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lyft is now allowed at Los Angeles International Airport.

    Mayor Eric Garcetti says beginning Wednesday, the ride-hailing service will be permitted to make airport pickups. Previously, it could only drop people off.

    The company will pay the airport $4 per trip.

    In a statement, Lyft executive Bakari Brock says the move is a big step forward for consumers and comes just in time for the holiday season.

    A competitor, Uber, won't be allowed to make pickups until it completes the approval process for a permit.

    The City Council voted earlier this year to grant ride-hailing companies the same airport access as taxis, shuttles and limousines.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Update 1/21/16

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Passengers arriving at Los Angeles International Airport will be allowed to leave in an UberX car starting Thursday morning.

    LAX was a notable holdout against Uber's cheapest ride-hailing service, as taxi companies lobbied to keep out a potent competitor.

    After months of negotiations, the agency overseeing LAX made the announcement Wednesday. The main catch: Passengers will have to go to the upstairs arrivals level. Also, each ride will have a $4 charge.

    Up until now, UberX passengers often would board a hotel or rental car shuttle to take them off airport property, then open Uber's app and summon a car.

    n December, the airport allowed pickups by Lyft, an Uber competitor. The agency overseeing LAX says that in the first two weeks, there were nearly 50,000 drop-off and pick-up trips.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Uber and Lyft, operating illegally in Philadelphia for several years, are now legal.

    ReplyDelete