Photo courtesy of Flickr / Matthew Hurst
The main terminal at Lambert International Airport.
Good news, travelers: you can finally use Uber and Lyft to get to and
from Lambert International Airport.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
reported this morning that the ride-sharing companies have begun operations after agreeing to pay Lambert $3 fees for each pick-up and drop-off. The companies will also be required to pay the airport $15,000 every two years, the newspaper says.
Lambert will have specific curbside areas for Lyft and Uber vehicles. The pick-up and drop-off fee will be $3 regardless of how many passengers are in the car.
That's a huge change from the previous situation, which allowed drivers to drop off passengers at Lambert — but limited pickups to Uber Black towncars. That service is far more costly, leaving some passengers who paid $30 or less to get to the airport surprised to learn that a trip home might cost them twice as much. Some got around it by taking shuttles to nearby hotels and then summoning the cheaper Uber X; others simply gave in and ordered a taxi.
The agreement between ride-hailing services and the airport has been a long time coming. Earlier this year, Governor Eric Greitens signed a bill into law that permits riding-sharing services throughout Missouri
. Uber and Lyft had pushed for such legislation after the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Cab Commission, which regulates local cab companies, had created regulations that effectively blocked ride-sharing in the St. Louis market
. However, Uber and Lyft still could not operate at Lambert without reaching separate agreements with the airport
. Now those have finally been forged.
Taxi companies aren't happy. The Post-Dispatch reports
that there are concerns that the law favors the app-based ride companies over typical taxi services. Taxis must pay a $246 fee each month to access the airport, along with a $4 fee required for every airport pickup ($3 is paid to the airport and $1 to the taxi commission). Unlike ride-sharing services, however, taxi companies will not have to pay any fee if they're just dropping customers at Lambert.
While the governor and other state Republicans believe relaxing regulations on Lyft and Uber will create thousands of jobs in Missouri, taxi companies plan to lobby local regulators for fee discounts to level the playing field.
Find more details about riding from the airport with Lyft
on the companies' websites.