Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to make advances in gaining access to the lucrative airport passenger pick-up market, winning new approval to operate at Pittsburgh International, and getting close to a deal with Washington D.C. officials; meanwhile, Uber announced a big expansion in Denver, where airport pick-ups were approved late last year.
Officials of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County this month adopted a policy that gives ride-sharing firms authority to pick up passengers at Pittsburgh’s airport for the next three years. Uber immediately jumped into the market, obtaining the first certificate. Lyft is expected to follow suit. To gain a certificate, Uber agreed to pay the airport a fee of $2.90 per trip — slightly more than the $2 that regular taxi companies pay.
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Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) Airports Authority this week started holding hearings on a proposal to allow drivers for Uber, Lyft and other operators to operate at both Reagan National and Dulles International airports. That plan calls for the ride-sharing vehicles to pay a $5 access fee for each pick-up and drop-off, and envisions the creation of designated waiting areas for ride-share drivers at the airports. As in other cities, this plan is vigorously opposed by traditional taxi companies.
And in Colorado, Uber said it wants to hire another 1,000 drivers this summer, mainly in the Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins markets. The firm said it is especially eager to take on more military veterans and women as drivers. Uber also wants new drivers to work full-time to accommodate “extraordinary demand” in the region, the Denver Post reported; most drivers now work part-time. Denver International Airport late last year approved a plan that allows ride-share companies to pick up passengers there.
And here’s an interesting nugget: Did you know that most of Uber’s rides are no longer in the US? China, where passengers are taking more than one million rides per day (!), is a bigger market.
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