Uber’s deal with New Plymouth Airport gets mixed reaction from taxi drivers

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As of last week, Uber has partnered with New Plymouth Airport.  (File photo)

ANDY JACKSON / STUFF

As of last week, Uber has partnered with New Plymouth Airport. (File photo)

New ridesharing company Uber has partnered with New Plymouth Airport.

The mixed reactions come after Uber announced its partnership with New Plymouth Airport, as well as those in Queenstown, Palmerston North and Nelson.

This means that Uber passengers will, for the first time, be able to be dropped off and picked up at all four airports.

In a press release, Uber Australia and New Zealand chief executive Dom Taylor said the partnerships “would be a game-changer in terms of convenience and choice for Kiwis and visitors.”

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In New Plymouth, travelers will be able to book Uber rides to and from the airport and be picked up just steps from the terminal. They will see in their app where to meet their driver partner and will also be able to follow the airport signs.

TE Taxis owner Richard Belk worried about his business and believed ridesharing companies like Uber could be the “end” for taxi companies.

“Of course that’s going to affect us,” Belk said. “We cannot compete no matter what.”

New Plymouth Airport is one of four regional facilities with which Uber has announced partnerships.  The others are Queenstown, Palmerston North and Nelson airports (file photo).

Andy Jackson / Stuff

New Plymouth Airport is one of four regional facilities with which Uber has announced partnerships. The others are Queenstown, Palmerston North and Nelson airports (file photo).

However, he believed it would affect other companies more, whose drivers sit at the airport and wait for customers when they get off the plane.

His business, which has six engines, was largely driven by loyal customers and businesses.

“I hope it doesn’t affect this aspect of the business,” Belk said. “You will also have people who are not using Uber.”

The deal was “a sign of the times,” he said.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. We just have to smile and put up with it. It’s like that.”

Angel Dewar, Energy City Cabs fleet manager, was not concerned about his business and wished the Uber drivers good luck.

Dewar expected them to move to the airport, as they have done in major centers.

“They have every right to be there,” she said. “We just wish them luck.

“If we do our job well, it will have minimal effect. “


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