Atlanta City Council passes Uber, Lyft airport ordinance

ATL Council approves ridesharing at Hartsfield-Jackson

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta City Council has passed a proposal that would allow rideshare services at the world's busiest airport.

The ordinance, which passed through the council's transportation committee last week, would allow such as Uber and Lyft to legally service Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Right now, many Uber and Lyft drivers park in the airport's cell phone lot to wait for passengers, which isn't allowed.

As part of the plan, passengers who utilize the rideshare services would have an additional $3.85 added to their tab. 

The transportation proposal allocates $2.35 of the $3.85 fee for security related costs. An Uber representative tells 11Alive the rideshare program covers the costs of background screenings for its drivers. The proposed $2.35 fee would go to the airport for its security related expenses.

While an increase, the rate would be less than the upper pickup rates at Chicago-O'Hare at $4 to $5, Los Angeles International at $4, Fort Lauderdale International at $3 to $4.50 and Reagan International at $3 to $4.

The Atlanta City Council voted 14-1 to approve the plan during Monday's meeting.

Councilwoman Felicia Moore was the only one to vote against the proposal, saying that she wanted the council to get it right, not just get it done. She wanted the city's transportation committee to spend more time working through the ordinance.

The plan will take effect on January 1, 2017. The City will conduct a review of the permit and security fee structure one year after adoption.

According to a statement from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, highlights of the plan include: 

* Transportation providers will be required to apply for an annual permit of $50 per vehicle, up to $100,000 annually.

* Ride-sharing vehicles and taxis will be subject to a seven-year age limit.

* Drivers will wait for customers in a designated ride-sharing area supported by innovative geo-fencing technology.

* All vehicles must display a decal while providing transportation services at the airport.

Uber Atlanta General Manager Luke Marklin issued a statement after the vote saying, "Getting a reliable ride at the tap of a button from the world’s busiest airport just got even more reliable.  The City Council passed an agreement for ridesharing at Hartsfield-Jackson that is largely consistent with Georgia’s comprehensive law and ensures travelers will have the access to Uber they have come to expect.  While there are some outstanding logistical concerns, we look forward to working with the airport on the details of implementation to ensure a smooth experience for both riders and driver-partners.  We thank Mayor Kasim Reed for his leadership, thorough consideration, and commitment to safe transportation options for Atlanta residents and visitors - without which this agreement would not be possible.”

Interim Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council, Jr. said in a statement, "We are pleased with today’s vote and look forward to working with the ride-share companies so they can begin operating at the Airport soon."

11Alive's Joe Henke was at the meeting. Follow his Twitter page for updates.


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