LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Travelers in need of a ride can now catch a "Lyft" from the the Louisville International Airport.
But some cab officials say the ride-sharing company is getting off cheap. The airport is charging Lyft $2 for every pick-up, and a monthly business fee of $500, but some cab companies say that's nothing compared to what they have to pay -- and they're not happy about it.
Pink signs and freshly painted curbs: It's a new point of reference for travelers wanting to catch a "Lyft."
Lyft can now legally pick up passengers from the Louisville International Airport -- the first ride-sharing company to do it.
"We're trying to appeal to the broadest base of customers and consumers that use our facility, and I think this allows us to do that," said Skip Miller of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority agreed to a one-year pilot program with Lyft last week, adding two parking spaces for its drivers.
Ride sharing companies have always been able to drop people off at the airport, but couldn't pick anyone up.
Lyft is now the exception.
But the new option has taxi companies angry and confused. Both Ready Cab and Yellow Cab have agreements with the airport. Some cab drivers say the airport is breaking their contract with them by letting a competitor in. One cab driver confides that Lyft will likely charge customers $9 to go from the airport to downtown Louisville, while the cab companies would charge $19.99.
But it's also a money making opportunity for the airport. Lyft has to pay $2 for every pick up, and a monthly business fee of $500 dollars -- leading some to argue that the airport is getting paid twice.
Ready Cab officials say they pay the airport well over $7,200 in monthly fees.
In a written statement, the owner of Ready Cab says, "While the arrangements with Lyft generate a new revenue stream for the airport authority, it does so at the expense of existing taxi drivers who pay a premium to operate there."
But the airport authority sees it as a level playing field.
"They don't mirror each other one-for-one, but we think at the end of the day, there is parity to the degree that no one is placed in a competitive disadvantage," Miller said.
The airport is in talks with Uber officials regarding a separate ride-sharing agreement.
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