Ride-share services Uber Dayton and Lyft have reached an agreement with Dayton International Airport to allow drivers to wait for trip requests at the airport.
Airport business manager Sarah Spees said both ride share services officially started operating at the airport on Thursday.
Now, the city of Dayton is seeking a single provider for taxi service at the airport, but said ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, would continue to operate. The companies were required to sign a “transportation network operating permit,” which is regulated by the state. The airport also has its own permits for taxis and ride-sharing services.
About 11 or 12 taxi companies are licensed to operate at the airport terminals, and many drivers have spoken out against the city’s plan.
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Airport officials have said the single provider would make ground transportation more reliable, convenient and consistent for travelers. Proposals from taxi companies are due by Dec. 14.
On Monday, Lyft announced it would add its presence in Dayton and solicited drivers for the area. As Lyft enters the area, it means opportunities for employment, as the company has advertised its looking for drivers. It’s also offering special deals to Miami Valley riders, like $5 off the first ride. Uber first appeared in Dayton back in August 2014.
But taxi drivers who frequent the Dayton airport have petitioned the city to ban Uber from picking up passengers at the terminal or force them to pay new fees. Taxi companies have said Uber and Lyft are killing business for drivers who can’t keep up with the ride-sharing companies’ low ride rates.
According to a transparency report from Uber, airport authorities have the ability to regulate transportation services within and around airports — separate from state and local regulatory agencies. To operate at airports, transportation companies enter into agreements created separately by each airport.
Though they vary from each airport, agreements could include reporting information like trip volumes on a monthly basis, when vehicles enter and exit the airport, and where the vehicles pick up and drop off travelers. It also include identifying the vehicles’ license plates, registration information, and who the driver is, according to Uber.
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Spees said just like taxis, Uber and Lyft will pay the airport $2 per ride.
In November, taxi drivers spoke out against the city’s plan for a single taxi provider during a Dayton city commission meeting. The taxi drivers told commissioners that cab companies have spent significant funds updating their vehicles to comply with city regulations.
Spees said the airport has not seen a decline in taxi operation at the airport since the inception of Uber. Taxis have taken approximately 22,000 trips annually to and from the airport, which results in about $40,000 in revenue for Dayton International.
“I can’t tell someone how to run their businesses,” she said. “I think the intent of everything is to develop fair opportunities for all businesses, and to deliver the best customer service options and transportation options that we can to all of our passengers.”