Airports often have a vetting process to decide what for-hire ride services can legally operate within their borders, with violators subject to fines. These allegations of Uber knowingly circumventing these rules come from an email (which can be read in full, here) obtained by an organization called Who's Driving You, which is fully funded by the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association. The short alleged note instructs drivers on ways to avoid getting tickets at Miami International, including keeping their phone off of the windshield, asking riders to sit in the front, using the lanes furthest from the terminal and calling passengers beforehand. The document does claim that Uber is working with the facility to find a solution to the ticketing, and the company will further reimburse drivers for any fines and "provide any necessary legal support."
Who's Driving You spokesperson Dave Sutton tells Autoblog that he believes that the letter indicates Uber is coaching its drivers on how to "act surreptitiously" to skirt the law. "Uber shows complete disregard for the serious concerns involved in airport security. Uber may be able to pay for drivers' tickets, but it won't be able to fix the records of drivers who incur legal problems," he says in the company's release.
When contacted by Autoblog, Uber representative Taylor Bennett responded with the following statement:
"Miami officials should follow the lead of the nation's leading airports by welcoming ridesharing and its impact on reducing curbside churn and deadhead trips, rather than unjustly ticketing driver partners for providing a safe and reliable ride."
Scroll down to read the full statement from Who's Driving You about its thoughts on the email.
Uber has sent an email to its drivers encouraging and instructing them how to illegally serve South Florida airports, including Miami International Airport.
The email begins by acknowledging Uber drivers have received tickets for picking up and dropping off passengers at South Florida airports. Uber then offers the following tips for evading airport authorities:
"Keep your Uber phone off your windshield – put it down in your cupholder
Ask the rider if they would sit up front
Use the lanes farthest from the terminal curbside for pickup and drop off
Call your rider to ensure an efficient and easy pickup"
Uber further encourages its drivers to pursue this illegal activity by reminding them that it will reimburse the cost of tickets and provide legal support.
"Uber is actively encouraging drivers to break the law at South Florida airports," said Dave Sutton, spokesperson for 'Who's Driving You?'. "Uber shows complete disregard for the serious concerns involved in airport security. Uber may be able to pay for driver's tickets, but it won't be able to fix the records of drivers who incur legal problems. Uber is dangerous and self-serving in the extreme."
'Who's Driving You?' is a public-safety campaign designed to educate the public about the dangers of unlicensed transportation companies. It is an initiative of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, an international non-profit trade association whose membership consists of 1,100 licensed transportation companies. For more information, visit www.WhosDrivingYou.org, follow us on Twitter (@WhosDrivingYou) and follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/WhosDrivingYou)