Uber and Lyft haven’t hurt St. Louis Lambert International Airport’s overall take from other ground transportation — at least during the initial three full months the two ride-hailing firms were allowed to operate there.
Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said Lambert’s overall revenue derived from parking lots and garages, car rental firms, taxicabs and vans during September, October and November actually increased by about 1 percent over the same period in 2016.
However, the airport’s cut from shared-use vans that shuttle to hotels and other locations fell by 15.3 percent. Taxi pickups at Lambert dropped even more, by 19.5 percent, as did the airport’s revenue from per-trip taxi fees. She noted, however, that the degree of decline in taxi pickups dropped month by month, from 25 percent in September to 18 percent in October and 15 percent in November. Statistics for December have yet to be compiled.
“So I think there is opportunity for our taxicabs to compete aggressively,” she told the St. Louis Airport Commission last Wednesday.
Mark Levison, an attorney who represents a consortium of taxi firms serving Lambert, didn’t offer as rosy a picture, arguing that the statistics offer “just too small of a snapshot to conclude anything other than they are being affected negatively.”
Uber and Lyft began operating at Lambert in late August under new permit and fee arrangements negotiated with St. Louis city officials.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch