August 10, 2018 07:06 PM
Police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport police are cracking down on Uber and Lyft drivers who don’t have the right permits.
“You’ve got to follow the rules, and if don't follow the rules, you're going to get a ticket,” said Jeff Lewison, from Woodbury, who drives for both Uber and Lyft. “It's plain and simple.”
A Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) spokesperson John Welbes said police held a permit checkpoint at the waiting lot on Tuesday after receiving a tip from other drivers.
At least 18 citations were issued to people who did not have the airport decal displayed, have their airport permit with them or were not displaying Uber and Lyft decals.
In February a new ordinance went into effect requiring each driver to pay $25 and submit their information to apply for an airport permit. Drivers must have the permit with them at all times and display a decal to legally pick up passengers from the airport.
“It’s worth the $25,” said Lewison.
He said he usually makes about $40 on a ride from the airport to downtown Minneapolis, which makes up for the annual permit fee.
“Friday’s are pretty busy because everyone comes in town for the weekend,” he said.
Drivers are put into a queue as they enter the waiting lot, determining the order they pick up passengers. Welbes told us that because service is requested through apps, drivers can still get calls for pickups from the lot even if they don’t have a permit.
“That’s really irritating and it’s kind of unfair,” said Katie Heldt, an Uber and Lyft driver from Brooklyn Park. “Just follow the rules it's as easy as that.”
She said the $25 fee is reasonable. Drivers who work for both Uber and Lyft are required to get two permits
“It seems really unnecessary, like they're just trying to get extra money,” said Heldt. “We’re all meeting in the same place it just doesn't make sense.”
MAC has issued about 12,000 permits to Uber and Lyft since the end of last year. Welbes told us they encouraged drivers to get their permits before the ordinance actually went into effect in February.
Driver Joel Keleekai, from Blaine, told us he welcomes the permit checks.
“I think it's a very good thing. I think it provides some level of security,” he said. “For us drivers, we have to make sure everyone that comes in here is legit.”
Updated: August 10, 2018 07:06 PM
Created: August 10, 2018 05:24 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company