(Photo by Flickr user drpavloff, used under a Creative Commons license)
Uber and Lyft might soon get the green light to operate at the Dulles International and Reagan National airports, the Washington Post reports.
To respond to growing demand for these apps, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has proposed to offer them access to customers at the airport in exchange for a one-time $5,000 company fee and $5-per-ride toll.
Though the app-based ride companies feel the fee is a little stiff, they are cheering the proposal.
Zuhairah Washington, Uber’s general manager in D.C., told the MWAA last week, “Airports are taking these steps because their customers expect that. … When they land, they will be able to open the Uber app and request transportation in the same way they can in most parts of the United States.”
The MWAA is running into opposition, of course, from taxi companies:
And the taxi industry continues to protest the new services, saying they have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to the same level of licensing and regulation. New regulations at area airports — a place where taxis remain a widely used transportation option — would put them at an even greater disadvantage, they say.
And airports aren’t quite sold on the idea either:
Airports typically want control over commercial drivers on their property; many require comprehensive background checks to ensure that drivers have no criminal records or are not on terrorism watch lists, experts say. Airports, which generally are self-sustaining, also want to make sure commercial drivers are well-insured to protect themselves against liability in the event of an accident on airport property.
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