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Uber, Lyft, with permits, may operate at Honolulu airport permanently


    A sign marks a pickup point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York in 2017.

Uber and Lyft will be able to operate at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu on a permanent basis after amended administration rules were approved today, state officials said.

Since Dec. 1, Uber and Lyft, which the state Department of Transportation referred to as “Transportation Network Companies,” have operated at the airport as part of a pilot program to test the demand for feasibility of their services.

The rules, which go into effect Aug. 24, were approved by Gov. David Ige following a series of statewide public hearings held in Honolulu, Kahului, Kona and Lihue in late June, according to HDOT, where more than 160 individuals provided testimony on the proposed rule changes. An overwhelming majority expressed support for the rule changes, the first ones to have been amended for commercial services at airports since 2002.

“The pilot program and the public hearings found there is significant support and interest in TNC services at our airports,” said Jade Butay, HDOT director, in a news release. “The rules are in place to ensure there is a level playing field for all prearranged ground transportation companies.”

On Aug. 24 any transportation network company (TNC) licensed by the Public Utilities Commission or a county agency will be eligible to apply for a permit from the HDOT.

Uber and Lyft will continue to pick up passengers at two designated areas on the second-level median curb — at Terminal 1 (formerly the Interisland Terminal) across from Lobby 2 and at Terminal 2 (formerly the Overseas Terminal) across from Lobby 8. These could change as construction at the airport proceeds.

The permitting and pickup operations for Uber, Lyft and other TNCs at neighbor island airports have not been established yet, state officials said, although passenger drop-offs are allowed. HDOT will review each county’s licensing regulations pertaining to the amended administrative rules for TNCs at neighbor island airports.

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