The ride-sharing service Lyft is on its way to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. Fourteen “aye’s” and one “no” is what it took to approve the resolution during Monday night’s Chemung County Legislature meeting.
“It looks like, pretty quickly, Lyft drivers will be working out of the airport,” Ken Miller, the county legislator for the fifth district, said. “It’ll make, I believe, rider-ship a lot quicker for people coming in and out of the airport and the cost will be lower so it’s a win-win.”
A win-win for the county as well since the county will get $2 per Lyft ride. Some airport officials are also acknowledging the service’s popularity and are trying to adapt to what the public sees fit.
“The ride-sharing, it’s what’s happening now,” Bill Hopper, the aviation director for the airport, said. “People that come from all over the country, all over the world, they’re accustomed to getting these rides on ride-sharing companies like Lyft.”
At last week’s legislative meeting, not everyone saw eye-to-eye. One group was the transport companies currently operating at the airport.
“They’re not following the policies and procedures we have to follow whether it be the insurance regulations, whether it be DOT inspections on the vehicles, right down to finger-printing your drivers,” Gregg Terpolilli, the owner of Terps Enterprises, one of the transport services operating at the airport, said last week. “You don’t know what you’re getting out there.”
“That’s been the biggest problem right along is they do not have to meet any of the regulations that we do,” Don Kalec Jr, the owner of 5 Star Limo of Elmira, also said at last week’s meeting.
The Legislature says they’ve already looked into those claims.
“There’s a lot of regulations, background checks, it’s going to be safe for the community,” Miller said.
As for the current transport companies, “maybe they’ll join in with Lyft and still get a bit of that business also,” Miller said. “Cabs, if we have enough business, they’ll do fine. If there isn’t then they’ll adapt to what we have.”
Hopper says the Lyft agreement is for one year to see how the service and operations performs.