COLONIE — Uber began serving Albany International Airport on Monday, after the airport and the international ride-hailing service reached an agreement.
The deal grants Uber an airport operating permit, which allows its drivers to drop off passengers curbside in front of the terminal and pick up passengers curbside near the terminal's baggage claim exit. Uber drivers and their vehicles will be able to wait on airport property near the terminal, as taxis, Lyft drivers and others with operating permits do now.
"The addition of Uber will provide new transportation options to and from the airport for the nearly 3 million travelers that pass through Albany International Airport each year," said Kenneth Doyle, chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority.
The parties have been working on an agreement since soon after state legislation authorized ride-sharing services to begin operating upstate, in June 2017. Under the agreement announced Monday, the airport authority will receive $2 each time a passenger is picked up or dropped off at the airport. That's the same fee that Lyft and taxi companies pay.
Uber has also agreed to third-party monitoring of the number of trips made to and from the airport, just as taxis and other ride-hailing services are monitored. Airport spokesman Doug Myers said that had been the major sticking point in negotiations. The monitoring allows the parties to agree on how much money should be paid.
"We've had demand for Uber from the beginning," Myers said. "Most of the Lyft operators at the airport also operate for Uber, so a lot of the same drivers will be driving for both stickers."
Using Uber and similar services, passengers may secure rides using smartphone apps.
"We are glad that riders in the Capital Region will now be able to use the company's app to access convenient and reliable transportation at Albany International Airport, and we look forward to working with ... Doyle and the airport staff," said Brian Hughes, general manager for Uber in New York, in a prepared statement.