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Lyft Can Now Provide Service to the Airport

Whittney Evans
Drivers for Lyft celebrate the new rules that allow them to take passengers to the airport.

Ride-share company Lyft is now authorized to legally deliver passengers to the Salt Lake International Airport.

Previously, if you caught a ride to the airport via Lyft, your driver may have been skirting the law.  Until now Salt Lake International Airport Executive Director Maureen Riley says official airport transportation was reserved for taxi cabs and shuttles.

“Sometimes it takes extra energy to figure out what the needs are of different kinds of users and passengers at the airport,” Riley says. “So we don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to make sure we can accommodate all the people who want to be at the airport.”

Drivers for Lyft and Uber use their own cars to transport passengers who they connect with using a smartphone app. Both companies have tangled with Salt Lake City and other local governments over whether drivers need to comply with traditional taxi cab regulations.

The Utah legislature passed a law this year that exempts the companies from local regulations, so long as they registered with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. But drivers still weren’t legally permitted to drop passengers at the airport, which requires additional checks. Now, after some negotiations, ride-share drivers are welcome at the airport and even have a designated pick-up and drop off area. 

Backari Brock is head of operations for Lyft.

“We both had the same goal, which is to allow ridesharing to come to the airport,” Brock says.  “We just had to figure out the how and the when and we were able to do that in very short order. Frankly, this is one of the fastest pathways to success that we’ve seen.”

Right now Lyft is the only ride-share company authorized to operate at the airport. Uber is in the permitting process. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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