There’s good news for those landing at Orlando International Airport! After years of restrictions, effective July 1, 2017, Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Uber and Lyft were finally be allowed to start pick ups at Orlando International Airport (MCO)!

For the past 3 or more years, there were laws on the books that made the use of ride sharing illegal within the borders of the City of Orlando, an area which included Orlando International Airport. But in April 2017,

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The City of Orlando is tinted pink, inside the red border

the Florida Legislature passed a statewide law taking regulation of ride shares completely away from local government bodies, which went into effect on 7/1/17. Along with allowing TNC to operate in the City of Orlando, the new law also requires ride-sharing companies to carry $100,000 of insurance for bodily injury or death and $25,000 for property damage while a driver is logged onto their app but doesn’t have a passenger in the car. If there is a passenger in the car, drivers must have $1 million in coverage. Also as per the new law, ride-share automobiles must also show a company logo when servicing the City of Orlando and MCO.



MCO signage inside Arrivals section
MCO signage outside Arrivals

Photos courtesy of Orlando International Airport Twitter/Facebook

Ride sharing vehicles will be allowed to pick up passengers on the second level (Arrivals level, just outside baggage claim, at the each end of the curb) of Terminals A & B, which is the same area taxis and privately-owned cars can do pickups. The fee per pickup for ride-sharing will be $5.80, which includes $3.30 for the TNC vehicles’ access to the airport and $2.50 for time spent waiting for passengers. Uber is trying to work with MCO officials to lower the $3.30 cost since $5.80 would wind up being one of the highest pick-up fees in the country (nationally, airport pick-up fees range from $2 to $4).

If you’re new to Uber and decide to use it for your car ride to/from MCO (or to/from anywhere, actually), we’d love if you used our referral code, which is q47f4 – it will give you a FREE RIDE (up to $15) (and it allows us to get a free ride – up to $15, as well).

Tourists going to Walt Disney World already have Disney’s Magical Express (DME) as a free service to and from MCO but some Disney guests may prefer to use a ride-sharing service, despite the extra cost, because of the time it would save (upon arrival at MCO, Disney guests have to wait for a DME bus to fill up, and may have to go from hotel to hotel before being dropped off at the hotel where they’re staying; a ride-sharing car could get you to your hotel much faster. Going back to the airport, DME pick-ups are usually 3 hours before departure times for domestic flights and 4 hours for international flights; with an Uber or Lyft, you could get away with leaving your Disney hotel a good hour or more later than that). Ride sharing will also be a great option for those traveling to destinations other than Disney, such as alternate theme parks, the Convention Center/International Drive area and, of course, home (for those of us who call Orlando home).

Mears, which operates many of the local taxis, as well as the DME buses, is, not surprisingly, not thrilled with this change of events. However competition like this is always a good thing, if not necessarily for the companies involved, at least for the customers, who wind up being the real winners!

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