Is our local airport tilting the playing field in favor of Uber and Lyft? On a recent ride with one of our locally-owned taxi companies, I was told that PUW might be allowing ride-shares to operate at the airport under different conditions than local cabs.
In particular, they may be allowing ride-shares to carry lower liability insurance limits, which can be a major expense. I believe Airport Executive Director Tony Bean raised insurance requirements as an issue in the Pullman public meeting discussing ride-shares in 2017 but I could find no record online of how the issue was resolved.
We have already let Uber and Lyft bully our communities into watering down background check requirements, and perhaps now they are also allowed to operate with lower liability insurance than everyone else.
I’d rather support a local business than a Silicon Valley behemoth. Although competition is a good thing, we should be sure that our local cabbies have a fair shot. If we don’t have the will to negotiate our higher standards for the ride-shares, we should at least be 100 percent transparent about the deal given Uber/Lyft and make sure that local cabbies face exactly the same requirements.