Lyft and Uber drivers no longer are required to register with Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but RDU will collect a $1 fee for every airport trip under agreements announced Thursday.
Drivers will wait in a staging area near the passenger terminals – a park-and-ride lot also used by limousine drivers – for riders who use smartphone apps to summon them. Lyft and Uber drivers will meet their passengers at areas designated for “prearranged services” outside the airport terminals.
“The agreement allows riders to use the Uber app to quickly and easily request a ride at the airport,” Arathi Mehrotra, Uber’s general manager for North Carolina, said by email. An Uber spokesman said the $1 airport fee will be added as a surcharge to the rider’s fare.
The operating agreements are authorized under a new state law, which Uber’s lawyers and lobbyists helped draft, allowing the transportation network companies to operate unencumbered by many of the regulations that govern taxi and limo drivers.
Michael Landguth, the RDU president and CEO, persuaded legislators to change language that would have prevented RDU and other airports from regulating the companies. Before the legislature stepped in, RDU police ticketed hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers for trespassing, and threatened some with arrest.
Landguth said the new agreement will give RDU travelers easy access to “safe, reliable transportation options.”