Uber and Lyft could soon be legally picking up passengers at Reagan National and Dulles airports.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority on Wednesday unveiled a plan to allow the popular app-based car services to operate at both airports.
Under the proposal, the airports would designate waiting areas for rideshare vehicles so drivers could arrange trips with passengers while already on the airport premises. This would help reduce the customer wait time for the ride.
In order to operate at the airports, however, the companies would need to be authorized to operate by a state or local government in the D.C. area. They also would need to obtain a special permit from the airports authority and pay an access fee that would cover maintenance costs, MWAA said. The plan also would apply to traditional limousine services.
The proposed rules follow recent action in Virginia, the District and Maryland that allow the services to operate legally in those jurisdictions. At the airports, the changes would bring the app-based services in alignment with the requirements that other ground transportation services such as taxis are subjected to, MWAA said.
MWAA executive vice president and chief operating officer Margaret McKeough said the new rules are a direct response to the growing demand for new, app-based ground transportation choices at the region’s airports.
“We want our customers to have convenient access to the ground transportation choices they desire, while still ensuring the quality they deserve,” she said.
Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said the company will work with MWAA during the process for changing the regulations and “as it moves forward with its rule-making process, and creating a framework for (transportation network companies) that ensures travelers have access to the safe, reliable rides they expect.”
Chelsea Wilson, a Lyft spokeswoman, said Lyft looks forward to permitted operations this summer.
The public will have a chance to comment on the proposal in the next 30 days. The authority will hold four public hearings: two at Dulles at noon and 7 p.m. on June 9, and two at National on noon and 7 p.m. on June 10. After the public comment period, the MWAA board will vote and finalize the proposal.