Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have been banned from certain parts of Florida for years. For example, Key West passed an ordinance in 2015 that made it illegal for ride-share drivers to operate without a proper vehicle-for-hire license. Violators faced up to 60 days in jail and a possible $500 fine.
Closer to home, Orlando International Airport (OIA) has only allowed the most expensive Uber service, Uber Select, to pick up passengers
Everything changes on Saturday when a new Florida law takes effect. Ride-sharing services will be regulated on a statewide level, rather than leaving it to individual municipalities.
The new law forced OIA to allow all ride-sharing services to pick up passengers, but it won't come without a price.
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), the board that governs OIA, yesterday approved a $5.80 pickup charge. This fee is the highest charged at any airport in the country.
Taxis will continue to pay only $3.30 per pick up.
“While we are disappointed that the Airport Authority has decided to implement a significantly higher fee for ride-sharing airport pickups than that of on-demand taxicabs, we thank GOAA for listening to our concerns," an Uber spokesperson said. "We look forward to continuing to work with the airport on keeping transportation costs low for residents and tourists. In the coming days, we will continue negotiating with staff to ensure an imminent launch of ride-sharing at MCO."
BTW - If you are in Miami or Key West on Saturday you can join Uber's celebration. The company is offering Miami and Key West Uber users free Key lime pie, supplied by Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe. Use this link to get your free Key lime pie.