SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – They’re cheap and easy, and very popular. Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are a hotly debated topic, especially when it comes to rides at Salt Lake City International Airport. The city backed out of regulating car services, but now the airport is asking them to come back because they need help.
There is still a lot of confusion on how to regulate companies like Uber and Lyft at the airport.
“I think that they should stop fighting it and start supporting it,” said a cab driver at the airport.
After six months of trying to regulate these companies, the Salt Lake City Council ended up passing an ordinance that to a certain degree deregulated taxis. The ordinance had done away with the $30 minimum applied to limousines along with the 30 minute wait times for them.
It’s currently illegal for Uber and Lyft to operate at the airport. But after pulling up the Uber app on my phone it’s easy to see, if you want you can get a ride.
“We crowd source everything and we base all our decisions on the reviews on people who have used those services before, and I think to not do it or expect Millennials to not use a service like that is silly,” he said.
One of the main concerns with these services is safety.
“I think I’m more concerned with the traditional taxi situations, I mean with Uber and Lyft there’s a record of where I’m gonna go and who I’m going there with,” said the cab driver.
Officials say these companies could operate in the area if they followed regulations such as inspections, a $1.5 million liability insurance policy per driver, and background checks.
“Even with background checks people can be bad, and that’s gonna happen anywhere unfortunately,” said the cab driver.
ABC 4 Utah contacted the Public Information Officer for the airport who directed our questions to the mayor’s office, and after several attempts my calls were not returned.
We did reach out to both Uber and lyft, Lyft says:
“We look forward to working with the Salt Lake City International Airport to find a way forward that preserves Lyft’saffordable, reliable rides for residents and visitors,” said Chelsea Wilson, Lyft Public Policy Communications Manager.
Lyft and Uber drivers can operate at the airport as long as the drivers register and properly track their fares, but the airport says it simply can’t enforce those regulations.