Wellington Airport and Uber

Stuff reports:

is close to reaching a deal to allow  drivers to pick up passengers, which could change the payment terms for all taxi services to the airport.

Currently Uber, a private hire service where passengers order cars on mobile phones, is not meant to pick up passengers from the airport, as doing so avoids paying the $5 fee faced by regular taxis.

Steve Sanderson, chief executive of Wellington Airport has threatened to trespass drivers who breach the rules

It was only fair that Uber paid the same as taxis, as they were operating a commercial business on private property, Sanderson said.

“We want all operators who operate transport services out of the airport to all be on a level playing field,” Sanderson said, adding that he expected to secure an agreement within Uber within a month.

“Taxis and Uber will pay the same amount.”

That’s good. But my understanding is from Day One Uber has been willing to pay this fee. It is the Airport that has refused to let them in, to keep the taxi companies happy. Regardless, good to see progress.

While currently taxis are only charged fees for picking up passengers at the airport, Sanderson confirmed that this could be replaced with a split between pick-ups and drop-offs.

“We are looking at other options of making the fees in the airport more equal to arrivals and departures.”

Sounds sensible.

Taxi Federation acting executive director Tim Reddish said Uber and other similar services should pay the same as taxis, and this should also take into account the money taxis paid to wait outside the baggage reclaim area.

“Any deal struck with Uber has to be on an even playing field basis,” Reddish said.

“The taxi companies that have a presence at the airport tender significant money for that, and that determines that Uber should be paying the same sort of money.”

No. That is a decision made by individual taxi companies to have a rank. Why impose their business model on a company with a different model. Uber cars do not wait around on ranks. They come when a passenger wants them.

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