Uber, Lyft airport motion headed to full Atlanta City Council

Council to vote on Uber, Lyft regulations

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Transportation Committee passed a proposal Wednesday that would allow rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft to legally service Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Mayor Reed’s office has proposed to legalize and regulate the rideshare services.

The ordinance approved by the transportation committee would allow rideshare services at Hartsfield-Jackson by establishing “fees and regulations” guiding such services. As part of the plan, passengers who utilize the rideshare services would have an additional $3.85 added to their tab. 

A few of the regulations outlined in the agenda include rideshare network services and drivers obtaining a permit from the Aviation General Manager in order to operate at the airport. Limos, taxis and rideshare vehicles must also display an airport decal when picking up passengers. Other regulations include not allowing vehicles older than 7 years and regulating size.

One suggestion still strongly opposed by both Lyft and Uber is a permanent label on the vehicles themselves showing they are cleared to operate at the airport.

Meanwhile, a requirement to have drivers fingerprinted has been dropped from the revision brought to the Atlanta city council in favor of private background checks.

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.

In the past Uber and Lyft drivers have received over 300 citations for unlawfully picking up passengers in the cell phone lot of the airport, which has caused tension between the rideshare services, taxi and limo drivers.

The city’s decision could possibly prevent these problems from reoccurring:

“The purpose of this legislation is to permit Rideshare Services to operate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; to establish fees and regulations governing Rideshare Services at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and to amend regulations related to Taxicab Services at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.”

With Wednesday's approval by the Atlanta City Council Transportation Committee, the ordinance will now be sent to full council for consideration at Monday's meeting.

In response to the motion, Uber Atlanta General Manager Luke Marklin issued a statement saying, "Travelers at the world’s busiest airport expect the safe, affordable transportation options Uber provides. The city’s proposal is largely consistent with the comprehensive state law passed last year and more than 70 airport agreements throughout the country.  While we have concerns about additional fees for riders and requirements for driver-partners in this legislation, today marks a positive step forward for ridesharing at Hartsfield-Jackson." 

Some members of the transportation committee did request to go over the proposal more before submitting it to the city however that request was denied.

The committee is asking the city to meet with all parties involved before Monday to go over remaining concerns.

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

(© 2016 WXIA)


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