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Uber, Lyft drivers told to stay away from TC airport

Aaron Selbig

The Traverse City airport is not allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to operate at the terminal.

Drivers say the problems started this week. They say Cherry Capital Airport security officers are accusing them of trespassing and asking them to leave.

Uber driver Laura Johnson says she was approached by security while unloading a passenger Friday morning.

“[He said] that I wasn’t allowed at the airport, and that I needed to leave immediately or I would be charged with trespassing or jailed,” says Johnson.

Johnson has been driving for Uber in Traverse City for about three months, and has never had an issue at the airport before.

Airport Director Kevin Klein confirms that Uber and Lyft drivers are being asked to leave. He says the companies have not applied for a necessary permit under the airport’s ground transportation ordinance.

“All cab companies, taxicabs, limos, hotel shuttles, et cetera are subject to this ordinance, and it requires permits," says Klein. 

Klein says the permits ensure companies have proper insurance and licenses. He says Uber and Lyft have been notified about the issue.

Neither company responded to a request for comment for this story.

Johnson says she notified Uber about her encounter with airport security.

“Hopefully we’ll have an answer to this situation, being that it’s the beginning of a very busy season,” she says.