Rideshare Companies Uber and Wingz Get Permits For OC Airport Pickups

(FOX 11 / CNS) John Wayne Airport travelers have a couple of new options to call for rides from the airport. Airport officials today issued permits for two ridesharing companies -- Uber and Wingz, according to airport public relations manager Jenny Wedge.

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The companies were the first to provide the documentation to receive a permit, Wedge said.

Wingz started providing rides today while Uber will start service Tuesday, Wedge said.

Orange County supervisors earlier this month approved a permitting process for ridesharing services such as Uber.

"This has been a collaborative effort between the airport and the (Transportation Network Companies) to better understand this new business model that has become so popular with travelers," said acting Airport Director Lawrence G. Serafini.

"The new permit is structured to ensure these companies can operate on a fair and equitable footing with JWA's other ground transportation service providers, and to ensure the safety and security of our passengers."

From Mario Ramirez:

The popular ride share company Uber has been permitted to begin picking up passengers at Orange County's John Wayne Airport. Uber started picking up passengers at the airport Tuesday after month-to-month permits were issued by Orange County lawmakers earlier this month.

Uber and Wingz were the first to apply for the permits. The companies have to comply with certain guidelines. They can only access the airport property for a pickup if a ride has been requested and confirmed via the smart phone app.

The companies must also pay a pickup fee of $2.25.

Uber was founded in 2009 and the app was released the following June. Uber expanded internationally in 2012 and is now the leader among ride sharing companies.

"I get less and less calls", says local taxi driver Gurnukh Singh.

For many taxi companies it means less business and sharing the market.

"I feel like they have a monopoly on pickups and drop offs. I think it will bring in some good competition. It's a capitalist market and I like competition", said passenger John Lemcoll.

Despite petitions and campaigning from companies, LAX officials haven't joined John Wayne Airport in welcoming ride share companies.

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