Lyft, Uber Get Okay for Las Vegas Airport Pickups

Drivers for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft can pick up passengers from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas after getting approval from the Clark County Commission. Uber and Lyft drivers previously were banned from making airport pickups, but new geofencing technology enables the airport to electronically charge a fee for pickup made by Uber and Lyft.

The Clark County Commission this month approved allowing drivers for Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

The decision comes shortly after the ride-sharing companies won licensing approval to operate in Nevada, but they initially were barred from picking up passengers at the airport, for which passengers, taxi companies, and now Lyft and Uber, must pay an additional fee.

When Lyft or Uber drivers pick up passengers at the airport, geofencing technology being installed at McCarran enables the airport to automatically charge an additional $2.45 fee for the ride.

The fee automatically is charged to the apps Uber and Lyft drivers use on their smartphones to schedule passengers, and the companies said they will fire any drivers caught picking up passengers with the apps shut off to avoid paying the airport fee.

The County Commission granted approval to Uber and Lyft, whose drivers are responsible for obtaining their own business licenses, over the objections of Las Vegas taxi and limousine companies, which have enjoyed a government-mandated monopoly of airport pickups until the commission’s decision in favor of the ride-hailing companies.