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"If you’re looking for a ride to Fresno’s airport, Uber can’t get you there anymore"


 
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

If you’re looking for a ride to Fresno’s airport, Uber can’t get you there 
anymore
By Tim Sheehan
The Fresno (CA) Bee


Airline passengers who have used Uber to get them to or from Fresno Yosemite 
International Airport will have to find a new ride. 

The popular ride-sharing company has pulled the plug on its operating agreement 
with the airport and is no longer providing rides there, the airport announced 
Monday. 

Kevin Meikle, director of airports for the city of Fresno, said Rasier-CA LLC – 
which does business as Uber – no longer wished to comply with the operating 
agreement it inked with the city in June 2016. The California Public Utilities 
Commission forbids “transportation network companies” or TNCs such as Uber and 
Lyft from doing business at California airports without an operating agreement 
with individual airports.

Lyft continues to serve the Fresno airport, Meikle said on Monday afternoon.

One of the city’s requirements is that TNCs enable tracking and reporting of 
their drivers’ trips to the airport through a third-party clearinghouse.

As of Monday, Meikle said Uber opted out of its agreement and activated an 
electronic “geofence” around the airport where its drivers can no longer go. 
“If you go to the Uber app and request service to or from the airport, it tells 
you that the service isn’t available,” Meikle said. “We checked it.”

According to Uber’s website, Rasier LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 
company that partners with ridesharing drivers. All Uber drivers have a 
contract with Rasier.

As of late Monday afternoon, Uber did not respond to inquiries from The Bee 
about the company’s decision to discontinue service to the airport. Less than 
three weeks ago, Uber told The Bee that “we are working with the Fresno 
Yosemite International Airport to renew our airport permit and look forward to 
continuing to service the hundreds of riders and drivers that currently rely on 
Uber.”

On April 13, the Fresno City Council turned down a proposal by the airport to 
charge a $3 fee for each trip by rideshare drivers to pick up or drop off 
passengers at Fresno Yosemite International. The fee was proposed to help make 
up for a decline in revenue from the airport parking lots over the past year as 
more passengers turn to Uber and Lyft to get to and from the airport.

Meikle did not have a breakdown of how many rides Uber has been providing to 
the airport since June. But together, Uber and Lyft have been averaging about 
3,700 trips to and from the airport each month. Meikle said it is his 
understanding that in most airport markets, Uber has about 80 percent of the 
market share. “Fresno is probably very similar to those other airports,” he 
added. “But Lyft actually started at our airport first, in February 2016, so 
they had a head start.”

There are no fees or charges associated with the operating agreement or for 
coordinating with the tracking clearinghouse. Meikle said the tracking 
information is used to help the airport make plans for its future 
infrastructure needs, including whether or not a future expansion of airport 
parking is necessary as rideshare companies have an effect on the numbers of 
passengers using the parking lots.

Meikle said he is hopeful that Uber will reconsider its decision. 

“We want them back; we hope they will come back,” he said. “We’re continuing to 
reach out to them, to stay in contact.”
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