MAC votes to allow Uber, Lyft to pick up at MSP Airport

The Metropolitan Airports Commission voted unanimously Monday to allow ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft to pick up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

At their meeting, MAC approved new ordinances for both ride-sharing services and taxis to operate at the airport.

One of the ordinances stipulates Uber and Lyft drivers will not get to pick up riders at the baggage claim doors like regular cars. The drivers will most likely have to go where the airport shuttles pick up and drop off at Terminal 1 and pay a $3 per trip fee, instead of the current system of $6 for pickups and no charge for drop-offs.

Ridesharing drivers also have to visit the airport in person and show their driver’s license to get their permit. But, another proposal to require additional documentation was dropped.

“We really appreciate all the effort that has gone into getting these rules right,” Diana Dellamere, a senior policy manager for Lyft, said. “As the commissioner mentioned, there are still some tweaks that need to be made. But there's been enormous effort to get it right here and we appreciate that.”

The process has been going on for about a year, with emotions running high between the taxi drivers and the ride-sharing drivers.

“All we are asking for is the playing field level,” Cowami di Senard, a taxi driver, said. “If I have to pay fee let the other guy go through the same process so that we know that we are competing with something.”

The new ordinances will go into effect on Jan. 1, but airport officials say travelers will not notice much of a change.