Allowing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to pick up and drop off passengers at Atlanta Hartfield International Airport may have been controversial, but it’s also been extremely popular with travellers.
The city of Atlanta only moved to legalise ride-sharing operations at the airport at the start of this year, but Uber and Lift are already picking up twice as many airport passengers as taxi cabs, according the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, citing a report by the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
The report said that Uber and Lyft picked up 250,283 passengers at the airport in January and February 2017, compared to 114,864 pickups by taxis.
International travellers were somewhat more likely to use taxis than domestic travellers, the data suggested. The information was compiled from the transponders that all taxis and ride-sharing drivers are required to install in their vehicles as a condition of serving the airport.
The owner of an Atlanta taxi company said his business has been “devastated” since Uber and Lyft entered the market, and SuperShuttle also cited the impact of ride-sharing services in its decision to leave the Atlanta market last month.
Passengers who use Uber and Lyft at the Atlanta airport pay a $3.85 fee – the same $1.50 fee paid by taxi passengers plus an additional $2.35 for the cost of background checks of drivers. The fees have prompted some complaints from passengers, but ride-sharing services still generally cost less than taxis for the ride from the airport to downtown Atlanta — and no tips are expected by drivers.