On The Record: Uber and Lyft

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

A question the Airport Authority has received more than once recently is, “Why can’t Uber operate at RDU?”

Short answer is they can, and some Uber and Lyft, drivers do.

Uber and Lyft are gaining in popularity, and our customers are using them. We understand this and are working with these companies so drivers that use this technology can provide service at RDU.

So what does the law say? NCGS 20-4.01(27) “For hire passenger vehicles. – Vehicles transporting persons for compensation.” As well as the requirement under NCGS 20-87(1) that for hire passenger vehicles be registered as commercial ‘for-hire passenger vehicles’ including obtaining and displaying ‘For Hire’ license plates.

This interpretation of state law has been at the center of our discussions with Uber and Lyft.

To resolve this issue, the Airport Authority is asking the N. C. Attorney General to assist us. On November 14, we sent a letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper asking him to answer this question: Are vehicles providing ride services to paying passengers using digital dispatching systems, such as Uber and Lyft, required to register their vehicles as commercial “for hire” vehicles under North Carolina law?

The Attorney General’s answer to this question will help the Airport Authority, Uber, Lyft and their drivers resolve this issue.

In the meantime, the Airport Authority will continue to encourage drivers to get for hire license plates and enroll in our ground transportation program which is as easy as 1-2-3. The steps are:

  1. Provide proof of compliance with the requirements of North Carolina Law by getting a for hire license plate
  2. Submit an application for a permit to RDU
  3. Pay the permit fee

We welcome new technology that improves our customers’ experience while balancing the requirements of North Carolina State law.

About Mike Landguth

Mike Landguth, AAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, which manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Mike joined RDU in November 2011. He and his family live in Cary along with their trusty canine sidekick, Thunder.
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2 Responses to On The Record: Uber and Lyft

  1. Emily says:

    I feel like Uber isn’t the same as a taxi and should not be held to the same standards. They aren’t sitting in a line or at a booth with other taxis representated as vehicles for hired. Uber is an app that allows me to reach out to some other fellow person out there, and say hey, can you take me home if i pay you. Uber is not me saying ‘oh hey, they’re in the taxi line so clearly they’re a legit business’. I don’t think Uber is any different from me putting on Facebook for all of my friends to tell their friends that i’ll pay anybody who can come pick me up at the airport – in that case i’m still reaching out to someone I do know (ex Uber app) to help me find someone I don’t know (ex Uber driver) and paying them. The app just connects people to people, not people to businesses.

  2. turani2014 says:

    To hell with Mike Landguth, and the “Machine” for permit money bullshit. I will simply take the free shuttle to rental car, and request my lyft from there. Suck it Mike. Tell the attorney general to suck it too if he decides to agree with you. Stay the fuck out of consumer business.

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