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Lyft, Uber Now Allowed To Pick Up Passengers At Logan Airport

EAST BOSTON (CBS) -- Passengers arriving at Logan Airport now have a new way to get home after their flights land.

Starting Wednesday morning, Drivers for ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft are allowed to pick up passengers from the busy travel hub after both companies reached deals with the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Logan was one of the last large airports in the country that didn't allow the ride hailing services. A bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in August that regulated the services in Massachusetts gave Massport the go-ahead to allow them at the airport.

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Parking for ride share app drivers at Logan Airport. (WBZ-TV)

At Terminal A Wednesday morning, many passengers told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe it was about time.

Bill from Randolph said he would definitely use a ride-hailing service instead of a taxi to get home from the airport.

"I think it's a good idea, but if you take a cab from here to Randolph, it's like $50 or more," Bill said. "Uber is going to cost you probably only like $30 or something."

Another passenger said it appeals to a different consumer base than a taxi does.

"It's convenient for passengers," he said. "It tends to be faster in other places, less expensive."

"If the Uber is delivering a better service, cleaner cars, in better shape then yeah they will lose their business," a woman said.

But not everyone is pleased. Metro Cab taxi driver Kashif Ramon is afraid the new rules will put him out of business. He says there are legitimate reasons why cabs cost more.

"We are professional drivers, and we're going through rules and regulations," said Ramon. "And Uber and Lyft, they don't have any proper insurance ... I don't like it."

For cabbies, the arrival of ride-hailing service at Logan means the loss of their last exclusive territory -- in an industry that has seen revenues drop 40 percent since 2012.

Cabbies have long argued that expensive regulations have left them stuck in the mud -- hundreds of thousands of dollars for the required medallions, insurance, and cab upgrades -- almost all of which ride-hailing services have skirted with an app-based business model.

"We'd like to compete but it's somewhat unfair and everyone sees it the same way," another taxi driver told WBZ. "The playing field needs to be leveled and I haven't seen the legislature do anything to help."

One business traveler said he preferred hailing down a good, old-fashioned taxi.

"I prefer to give my money to the cab drivers," he said. "The guys have to pay for their licenses, and I'm old-fashioned that way."

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Ramon says that with Lyft and Uber now allowed at the airport, he's not sure how he'll survive.

Some Uber drivers wished their cabbie competitors no harm. "We work hard for our families," one Uber driver said. "I think they will find a way to do business as we are doing too."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports


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