Albany County Airport Authority approves permit plan for ridesharing at airport

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ridesharing is one step closer to becoming a reality in the Capital Region, and it’s an effort to get the service at Albany International Airport.

On Monday, the Albany County Airport Authority approved a permit plan for services like Uber and Lyft. It includes charges to the companies as well as a change for taxis at the airport.

Everlina Ballard was in Albany from Memphis, Tenn., to visit her daughter. She was at the airport waiting to be picked up, and she was shocked ridesharing doesn’t exist in the Capital Region.

“Especially if Memphis has Uber, I would have thought y’all would have had them here,” she said.

The Albany County Airport Authority approved a plan that would charge ridesharing companies $2 for a drop off, the same price for a pick up, and a one-time $5,000 set up fee. Currently, Capitaland Taxi services the airport, and it’s pick up and drop off fees would increase to $2 as well.

Many said the addition of ridesharing shouldn’t hurt cabs.

“They’re one person to another person; they have completely different ways of functioning,” Sam Crawford, of Vermont, said.

Jason Crawford lives in Utah but used to live in Saratoga Springs. He said the taxi service is hit or miss.

“I’ve definitely had some mixed taxi experiences here,” he said. “One was really good. The other not so good.”

He once paid $100 for one ride. Ballard agrees that cabs are too expensive from the airport.

“It would be an arm and a leg,” she said. “I’m sure it would cost too much money, so I didn’t even think about that.”

Sometimes she’s unsure about getting in a taxi at all.

“I’m thinking a lot of times you don’t know who the taxi cab driver is, and you just don’t know what kind of character you’re getting into the car with,” she said.

Ballard can’t wait to use ridesharing on her next visit to town.

“It would definitely save my daughter and her husband time from having to come and get me,” she said.

Ridesharing services are expected to start at the beginning of July.

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