Passengers arriving at Orlando International Airport (OIA) can start using ridesharing services Uber and Lyft starting today, thanks to legislation passed during the most recent legislative session that imposed a statewide regulatory system, overriding some of OIA’s restrictions.
Previously, it was possible to take Uber or Lyft to OIA, but only the premium black-car service Uber Select was available to pick up at the airport. Orlando was one of the last major airports in the country to restrict ridesharing services in this way, leading to frustration for both travelers and local residents. People wishing to avoid taxis had developed several work-arounds, like taking the Lynx bus to get off airport property and having their Uber or Lyft driver meet them at the first stop, or taking a taxi for a short trip to a nearby hotel or restaurant parking lot and then Uber or Lyft for the rest of their journey.
In a promotional email sent to local customers, Uber offered thanks for supporting the statewide ridesharing legislation and announced the new options for airport pickups:
Due to statewide ridesharing legislation that was made possible by your support, as of today, you will be able to get home from Orlando International Airport (MCO) with uberX.
Bringing more affordable transportation options to MCO has been a long time coming–and now you have the choice whether to ride for less with uberX or in style with UberSELECT.
We know getting a ride from MCO hasn’t been the easiest, or most affordable, experience in the past. That’s why we’re so excited about this update to service at MCO.
A $5.80 fee will be added to each Uber or Lyft fare picking up at the airport, which is the highest rideshare airport fee in the country according to Fox 35. The airport fee for taxis is a noticeably lower $3.30, leading to complaints from local representatives for the ridesharing companies. Javi Correoso, Uber’s Florida spokesman, said they were continuing to work with OIA officials to get the fee lowered.
Currently, Uber and Lyft drivers will be instructed to pick up their riders on the second level for both terminals at OIA, the same level where taxis and members of the general public pick up passengers, leading to some concerns about traffic congestion. The problem should be temporary, as the third level of both terminals is under construction and airport officials have said they expect to move ridesharing pickups to that level after the work is complete.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.