MSP Airport officials expect rideshare disruptions if Uber, Lyft leave

MSP Airport officials expect rideshare disruptions if Uber, Lyft leave

MSP Airport officials expect rideshare disruptions if Uber, Lyft leave

As Sean Shepherd waited for his Lyft driver to pick him up from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Wednesday, he couldn’t help but think about the possibility of losing rideshare services in the Twin Cities.

“It’s going to be interesting to see. Not sure how this is going to turn out,” Shepherd said. “I think we can expect to see a longer time to get a car and everything.”

Abby Schiller got back from a trip in Denver and anticipates future challenges in finding rides home to Richfield.

“I don’t fly that often, but when I do, yeah, because all my family that lives around are like in Roseville or Prior Lake, so it doesn’t make sense for them to pick me up and take me there,” she said.

RELATED: Minneapolis City Council overrides mayor’s veto of rideshare driver pay ordinance

Officials with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs the airport, say there are 6,950 Uber permits and 5,381 Lyft permits compared to 244 traditional taxi permits.

Uber has threatened to stop operations in the metro, including the airport, while Lyft says it won’t take customers to Minneapolis.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked the airport officials how they plan on handling the announcement.

In a statement, Chad Leqve, MAC vice president of management and operations said, “Taxis and other ground transportation options will continue to be available. However, there will very likely be challenges and disruptions to airport customers who have long depended on ride share services.”

Leqve goes on to say they are hopeful state and local policymakers will find a solution to keep rideshare services available.

Some rideshare customers admit they are skeptical about the big companies leaving, but they’re ready for what could come.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Uber and Lyft aren’t going to pull out, but I think they’re waiting until the last minute to see who kind of gives,” Shepherd said. “It can definitely change things, but we tend to adapt on situations.”

Late last year, the airport opened a $1.2 million Ground Transportation Center, which expanded the rideshare area and doubled the space for drivers.

Officials say the airport averages about 8,000 rideshare pickups and dropoffs each day.