Uber ride-sharing service confusing at Albany International Airport

(Photo Credit: Lauren Linder, NEWS10 ABC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s been just over a week since ride-sharing started here in Upstate New York.

But, Uber still isn’t allowed to operate at Albany International Airport.

At the airport, if you open up the Uber app on your phone, it says Uber is unavailable for pickups. That’s not the case when you try to request a drop-off.

The situation is confusing many in the area.

“I was like uh, just annoyed now I have to get a taxi,” said Nick Ancona, Albany resident.

Nick Anacona was frustrated having taken an Uber from work to the airport and he thought that he’d be able to take one back.

Joseph Penello drives for both Uber and Lyft and he expected to give rides to the airport all the time.

“If you can Uber here you should be able to Uber out of here as well,” Penello said.

A spokesperson for Albany International Airport said before ride-sharing services began here in Upstate New York, they came to an agreement with Uber and Lyft that would allow them to operate at the airport.

Under the plan, Uber and Lyft have to pay the airport $2 per pickup and drop-off.

While Lyft signed the permit, Uber hasn’t yet.

That means Uber drivers technically can’t make trips here.

Anacona mentioned that he was unaware of how this process was working.

“Hopefully by the next time I come here it’ll be sorted out,” Anacona said.

To control this, the Albany County Sheriff’s office has deputies patrolling outside. The sheriffs said the first time they see an Uber driver they’ll get a warning.

The next time, they’ll get ticketed for an unclassified misdemeanor, a serious charge for a traffic incident.

“It would be a tremendous amount of cash flow coming in if Uber can pick up from the airport because most people don’t know that Lyft even exists so I think it would be tremendous for the consumer. It would be tremendous for the driver,” Penello said.

A spokesperson for the airport said they’ve been working with Uber for several weeks to come to an agreement.

“It’s a lifeline for this whole area and if we can’t go in there it’s going to be pretty detrimental for the service. So far it seems like we are outlaws, not a good feeling. I’m hoping that Uber takes care of business and gets their permit,” Penello said.

Uber says they’re hopeful it will happen soon.

 

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