State forces rideshare services to stop airport runs

Byby Tiffany Wilson KGO logo
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
State forces rideshare services to stop airport runs
A big blow was dealt to on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft after the state orders them to stop operating at airports.

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- A big blow was delivered to on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft. The state is now ordering them to stop operating at airports, at least for the time being. Those airport runs are a crucial part of that business, so this is costly and the drivers are not happy.

The state says the rideshare companies must have an airport permit to make airport runs and currently none of them do.

If you use Uber, Lyft, Sidecar or Wingz for airport transportation, it's time for a backup plan. In a letter sent Wednesday the president of the California Public Utilities Commission scolded the rideshare companies saying he was personally disappointed in their behavior.

Drivers can be seen at airports picking up passengers and pulling away. The problem is they're operating without an airport permit.

Annie De Waters was waiting for a Lyft to Berkeley when we spoke to her. When asked what she thought about the crackdown, she said, "I think it's unnecessary."

Her driver asked her to sit in the front seat to avoid any questions. Airport security says they can still spot rideshare pickups.

CPUC's letter says, "If immediate action is not taken to bring your operation into compliance... the CPUC will begin enforcement actions including the revocation of your permit."

Uber driver Ramsey Reguii thinks it comes down to cash. He said, "Public safety is not the reason behind the crackdown. It's the $4 the airports are trying to collect. The big proof of that is they're not cracking down in the streets of San Francisco."

Authorized taxis pay a $4 fee for their airport fares. Cab drivers are celebrating the enforcement.

One cab driver said "That will be nice, you know, it will increase business for us."

Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Wingz have until next week to respond.