If Uber and Lyft leave Sky Harbor, black market ridesharing could take their place
With just a few weeks left remaining, before Uber and Lyft are expected to stop operating out at Sky Harbor, some are concerned about the possibility of black market ride sharing.
PHOENIX – With just a few weeks left remaining, before Uber and Lyft are expected to stop operating out at Sky Harbor, some are concerned about the possibility of black market ride sharing.
January 17th is the deadline when drivers and passengers will find out if fees approved by the city of Phoenix will stay in place.
A complaint has already been filed with the Arizona Attorney General.
If the fees do stay, and the two rideshare giants, Uber and Lyft pull out of Sky Harbor Airport, then it's not only likely an underground market for rideshare would happen, but it's probably already happening.
Unlicensed and unregulated drivers could pull up to the gate, offer a cash ride and a customer seeking convenience would most likely pay to be on their way.
"[Poaching passengers] has been going on since Uber existed, so that's nothing new," said Sergio Avedian.
Avedian writes for the popular 'Rideshare Guy' website covering all things Uber, Lyft and everything in between.
He's still an active driver on both platforms and says passenger poaching comes with a risk.
"Drivers do it. They have a right to do it, it's their own car. Most of them are doing it by taking an immense amount of risk for themselves, for the fact that, unless they have commercial insurance, you shouldn't be – your private cannot be used for, let's say not even ridesharing, but for delivery services," Avedian said.
Customers also run the risk of not having any screening for their potential driver.
"The message to passengers is, ask your driver is they have commercial insurance before you get into their car if they're going to ride," Avedian said.
The Attorney General is expected to weigh in before the January 17th deadline.
In the meantime, Sky Harbor has been contacting commercial drivers with that insurance, letting them know they can still do drop-offs and pick-ups at curbside. This includes many of the drivers who drive for the higher-end Uber black service.