“This agreement provides our customers more choices to and from the airport while establishing an operating framework that meets the needs of Uber and our ground transportation providers who have served airport customers for years,” HIA director Timothy J. Edwards said.
The framework will require Uber to maintain $1 million of commercial auto insurance for all drivers making HIA trips.
Uber also will be required to conduct multi-jurisdictional background checks on all prospective drivers through a nationally accredited third-party provider, officials said, examining county, state and federal records, as well as terror watch lists and the national sex offender database
Further, the carrier will be required to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on unauthorized pickups and the use of intoxicating substances, according to HIA.
The airport will require ride-share drivers to only make pickups in specified areas, but will designate space in the parking garage for Uber drivers.
“Our agreement with HIA means travelers can count on Uber for safe, affordable transportation options around the Harrisburg region,” said Jennifer Krusius, Uber’s general manager for Pennsylvania expansion.
The deal comes after months of negotiations, and earlier controversies — including about the role of Uber services versus traditional taxi operations.
Scott Miller, HIA’s deputy director for business development and strategic marketing, said Harrisburg City Cabs is still the exclusive outbound taxi provider from the airport.
Miller also highlighted other key points about the arrangement.
• Why the $2.90 fee?
“The purpose of the fee is to help pay for the construction, use and maintenance of the parking garage Uber drivers will use to serve their customers,” Miller said.
“It is my understanding the $2.90 is part of the total fee (as is a driver tip) the user agrees to before they take the trip,” he added.
For the airport, Miler said officials don’t know how much revenue it will generate, “as we really aren’t sure how popular this service will be,” though he added that “our peers at similar size airports say the service is very popular.”
• Uber drivers had previously paid a $10 fee. What about that?
Commercial operators that pick up paying fares at the airport but do not have a ground transportation agreement with SARAA/HIA are subject to a $10 fee, plus applicable parking fees, Miller said. Under the new agreement, $2.90 covers all fees for Uber drivers.
• Uber does not have any exclusivity under the pact. So what about other ride-share providers, such as Lyft?
“There are no talks with Lyft that I’m aware of at this time,” Miller said.