REDMOND, OR -- Ride-sharing companies could be picking up travelers at the Redmond Airport as soon as April first. Redmond City Councilors this week approved ordinance revisions that bring rules for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft in line with taxis.
Airport Director Zach Bass says cabbies at Roberts Field will operate similar to how they do now. "They actually will pull up where they currently are. Uber, Lyft and any other TNCs that sign an operating agreement with the airport will actually have a separate place to pick up. They will not be able to ‘hail,’ so you’re not going to walk out and see an Uber driver sitting there like you would a taxi. But, once you get on your app and you make that connection, then there is a place that will be designated for them to pick up at the airport."
He tells KBND News, "The only thing that’s changed is we’ve implemented a gate access fee. So, when anybody picks up at the airport for profit, then it’ll be a dollar per gate access there at the airport. That’s the only thing that’s really changed with [taxis] is just more the fee structure." He says cabs and town cars used to pay an annual fee to access customers at the airport. "When we started taking a look at these TNCs that are one company but a massive amount of drivers, potentially, we kind of had to change how we implemented the fee structure. So, that’s what’s come from that is the gate access, or the $1 per pick-up."
For-hire vehicles must also be clearly marked and drivers must undergo annual background checks. Similar changes take effect in Bend May first. Bass says the ordinance is in-line with those imposed at other airports.