A compromise plan worked out in Chicago’s city council appears to have removed a major stumbling block for UberX and Lyft pick-ups at the city’s airports, and ride-sharing pick-ups have started at Las Vegas McCarran.
It was only last month that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel switched from being an opponent to an advocate of ride-sharing pick-ups at the city’s airports, and now a compromise worked out in the city council should mean Uber and Lyft could start collecting passengers at O’Hare and Midway soon.
At issue was the amount of regulation that ride-sharing rivers should have to face. Chicago aldermen who were allies of the city’s taxi industry wanted to require Uber and Lyft drivers to obtain chauffeur’s licenses, just as cabbies do. But that demand was dropped in exchange for increasing the per-ride fee from 50 to 52 cents, in part so the city could reduce the cost of chauffeur’s licenses and background checks for taxi drivers.
To advance its cause, Uber even produced an online video ad campaign, uploading a YouTube video that features interviews with travelers waiting in long taxi lines at O’Hare.
In the next step, the city’s Aviation Commissioner will have to issue rules about required signage for ride-sharing vehicles to display. The expansion of ride-sharing authority will also apply to passenger pick-ups at McCormick Place and Navy Pier, which are currently restricted to licensed taxis.
In Nevada, meanwhile, Lyft said it has become the first ride-sharing company to start picking up passengers at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, although Uber is expected to join the fray soon.
Last month, Nevada started to allow ride-sharing services to operate in the state, but there was some uncertainty as to whether or not Clark County — home of Las Vegas — had the authority to impose additional requirements on the operators, and the start of ride-sharing in Las Vegas did not initially include pick-ups at the city’s airport.
But last week, Clark County allowed Uber, Lyft and other services to apply for licenses that would let them serve all of the city, including the airport — and Lyft was first out of the gate.
And in Arizona, Uber has recorded more than 20,000 signatures on a new online petition that calls on Phoenix city and airport officials to allow UberX pick-ups at Sky Harbor Airport. Again, the issue is the amount of regulation that drivers should be subject to. Uber sent a link to its petition to Arizona residents who have downloaded its app.
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