Uber and Lyft can legally operate and pick up passengers at Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport as of Aug. 1.
The Dallas Observer reported that vehicle-for-hire companies have legally operated in Dallas since the city council passed a new transportation ordinance in April.
This ordinance did not apply to DFW Airport, which Dallas and Ft. Worth co-own. The airport instead had to pass its own new transportation regulations. These rules now allow any licensed vehicle to operate at DFW and leave the licensing process itself to the cities of Dallas and Ft. Worth.
Traditional taxi companies have previously enjoyed special protection at the airport, allowing them a near-monopoly on DFW’s 63 million annual passengers, according to the Dallas Observer. Every year, 876,000 taxis rides originate from DFW, with profits for taxi companies in the tens of millions of dollars.
These companies will now have to coexist with Uber and Lyft, though they will be separated at the terminal. The taxis will remain at the Central Queue, where they wait for passengers to request them and will pick up passengers at the yellow part of the curb. Uber and Lyft will have a supplemental hold lot to await and pick up passengers at the green section of the curb, the Dallas Observer reported.
Love Field will implement a similar organization system. Regular taxis will have to wait in line with other vehicles to pick up passengers, while Uber and Lyft will have their own designated waiting areas.
CBS DFW reported that the Association of Taxicab Operators sued for an emergency block of the new airport regulations, which a Dallas County judge refused to grant, although more extensive lawsuits are a future possibility.
The association claims that companies like Uber and Lyft are circumventing years of previous rules and that drivers with such companies could pose safety risks to passengers, some of whom have been assaulted or harassed.
Senior Nate McCabe, who drove with Uber full time over the summer, disagrees with the association’s concerns.
“I am guessing that the reason they cite passenger safety as a concern with Uber is because there are so many drivers associated with Uber that … a couple of them are poor or inexperienced,” McCabe said. “Anyone takes the same risk with cab drivers.”
McCabe also stated that he believes Uber will replace traditional taxi companies entirely within 10 years.
“Ridesharing has provided a system that beats taxis on every front,” McCabe said. “It is cheaper, safer, more time-efficient, good for the environment and generally a more pleasant experience. It is not perfect, but it is certainly filling a need and providing much-needed competition to the taxi syndicates.”
Many University of Dallas students choose to have friends pick them up from both Love Field and DFW airports. The advent of Uber and Lyft provides new transportation options, with a ride from DFW to UD costing no more than $20, according to McCabe. He also said passengers should not have to wait more than five minutes to be picked up.
“The cost is the only disadvantage that comes to mind,” McCabe said.
Still, some students, such as junior Amelia Kurkowski, cite other methods of transportation as more reliable and cost-effective.
“I just use the DART and the buses between terminals,” Kurkowski said. “I’ve never had problems. It’s just easier that way. I might use Uber or Lyft if problems came up.”