Travelers can now use Uber, Lyft at airport

Posted at 6:33 AM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 13:37:11-04

Travelers arriving at Mitchell International Airport can now get a ride home for much less.

With the touch of an app - they can hail a ride with Uber or Lyft.

"Right now, I'd probably be using them than going to use a rental car," said Bob Brown arriving from Phoenix on Tuesday morning.

Technically he could - and he'd be the first to get a regular Uber or Lyft ride here under the airport's new ride sharing pilot program. Previously, Uber and Lyft drivers could drop off passengers and only the fancy Uber Black and Uber SUV were allowed to pick up.

Travelers arriving from bigger cities like Seattle say that despite being a lot cheaper than a cab - from experience they believe it's not all it's cut out to be.

“It's very inconsistent - from driver to driver. You just never know what you're going to roll up into,” said Steven Sanchez who uses the service in Seattle.

Airport cab drivers say Uber and Lyft are unfairly stealing business because the companies are not facing the same type of regulations. However, Uber and Lyft drivers do have to undergo background checks.

They should have to a taxi driving license. When we started driving, they had profile and checked the backgrounds. Checked (if we had) drug related charges,” said GayaTri Dass who has been driving a cab for more than 20 years.

Oswald Lettrari who has been behind the wheel of a cab for 15 years says that there is a safety concern.

“What Uber is doing is trying to attract an illusion of making an extra dollar. People are in other professions and work and then they run home, run to their car to make an Uber fare. They are not in a professional way focused.”

Plus he says they do not pay the same for insurance as cab drivers.

“We pay commercial insurance for the whole year, they don't have full coverage," he said.

While in other countries, like in Colombia, Bogota cab drivers are violently protesting Uber drivers, at Mitchell these men are doing it peacefully with signs on their cabs.

Under this day 90 pilot program, Uber and Lyft, have to pay the airport three dollars for every passenger they pickup here.