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February 12, 2016

Airports Become Battleground for Taxi And Shuttle Operators’ Struggle Against Uber

Another front in the car service battle has opened at the nation’s airports

The Airport Ground Transportation Association – which includes SuperShuttle and similar airport shuttle services — issued a warning this week that Uber and Lyft are exposing airport authorities to liability risk.

“For the protection of the airport and the safety of the airline traveling public, airports must insist that they be named as co-insured on a primary liability policy for every commercial vehicle operating on airport property,” said AGTA executive director Ray Mundy.

Meanwhile, the Taxicab, Limousine, and Paratransit Association, which represents taxi companies, airport shuttle services, and limousine companies, has launched a campaign called “Who’s Driving You?” to aggregate consumer complaints about Uber and similar companies and to mobilize against them.

Firing back, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said, “It’s unfortunate that special interest groups funded by Big Taxi are using airports to scare the public — the truth is taking Uber to and from the airport is safest, most reliable and affordable option around.”

He added, “In cities where airports are unclear about how Uber can help administrators tackle long taxi queues, deadhead trips, and reduce curbside churn times, we welcome the opportunity to work together.”

Somewhat caught in the middle of the clash are the authorities that own and operate airports. On the one hand, they do not deny travelers are using apps that can make it easier to get in and out of airports. On the other hand, they may have concerns about additional traffic and about car service drivers using cell phone parking lots.

And typically a taxi firm or shuttle service pays an airport operator a concession fee for the right to offer service at an airport and to use waiting areas where cabs or vans queue up. A rival service could in effect erode that revenue source for airport operators. Uber spokesman Bennett said it does pay such concession fees to airports.

The trade association that represents governing bodies that operate commercial airports took a cautious stance in a statement Friday.

“We are actively working with our member airports on how ride-booking apps affect a broad array of issues that airports need to consider to ensure the safety and satisfaction of their travelers,” said Deborah McElroy, executive vice president of Airports Council International-North America. “In addition to ground-transportation safety, airports also are considering how ride-booking apps could affect traffic flow along their roadways and their revenues from ground transportation providers.”

Comments (6)

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  1. Veck Torr

    July 14, 2014
    5:35 p.m.

    It is only Congress who has the power to borrow money on the credit of these united states.

  2. Mysore Rao

    Oct. 9, 2014
    2:51 a.m.

    Bring some mode of conduct to be followed
    The state machinery should work with a missionary zeal
    And not leave the operators to fight out
    People should be proud of the machinery
    Can they do it?

  3. Amy Driver

    Jan. 1, 2015
    6:04 p.m.

    For me the way has altered. I take advantage of it to arrive at school and work. I understand not everyone enjoys these new ridesharing programs because they’re messing together with the status quo that is present. Nevertheless, it can help many individuals who have difficulty getting access to reliable public transport and can’t afford the high costs of taxi cab firms. I got my beginning using the Lyft program from this site: there’s a marketplace for Lyft and Uber but only need to work out how it works in laws and the transport sector as a whole.

  4. Jake

    Oct. 5, 2015
    4:23 p.m.

    Airport pick up areas are definitely a battleground for Lyft and Uber where I drive in Seattle. I drive for both companies and my experience has been great, but Uber in Seattle has geo-fenced the Sea-Tac airport, so I can drop off riders but I will not get a request on the way home. When I started driving I learned a lot at, they have resources and promotions for new drivers, I have to say it is a great tool that made my experience great with Lyft and Uber.

    • Anonymous

      Oct. 31, 2015
      5:59 p.m.

      Have to say, just tried to pick up a passenger with Uber at Seatac the other day and my car was nearly impounded, this is still a heated battleground. More info and new driver promo codes for Uber sign up bonus at

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