(WSVN) - Uber has been given approval to operate at Miami International Airport, but drivers are not allowed to park on site. Some companies around the airport say for them, it’s bad for business. 7’s Jeff Lennox has more in our special report.
Cars are Renan Dolabella’s life.
Renan Dolabella: “This is where we keep our cars parked. All the cars stay indoors.”
His father built the luxury car rental company over the past three decades.
Renan Dolabella, General Manager of First Class Rent A Car: “This is what my father has worked for for 26 years. When he started First Class, we only had four cars.”
But it takes more than a few fancy cars to keep everything running.
Renan Dolabella: “Outside is clean, because I cleaned it. I painted the wall and alley, I painted the front and I care for my business, I care for my property.”
He says the first class service they strive for is being threatened by Uber drivers parking around their property waiting for fares.
Renan: “They’re here all day long, during hours of operation, during hours that we’re not here.”
Across the street at the Holiday Inn, there’s more than guests checking in to their parking lot.
Erika Guardiola, Holiday Inn & Suites Miami Airport: “They can’t park here, they can’t be here and they’re told every single day and still do it.”
And the issues don’t end in the lot.
Erika Guardiola: “We have free coffee, they drink our coffee. We have free cookies, they’ll come in and you know, take them.”
Renan Dolabella: “They’ve been littering, in some cases urinating on the side of our walls.”
The problem has gotten so bad, other businesses in the area have been driven to put up no parking signs and even barriers to keep the drivers off their property.
Renan Dolabella: “We’ve contacted the police. There’s very little they can do. We’ve tried to contact the city, there’s very little they can do.”
They have also contacted Uber. The company says the problem is drivers have to stay within a designated area around the airport to get ride requests.
Kasra Moshkani, General Manager of Uber South Florida: “Today, what they’re doing is finding safe spots to wait around the airport so that once those passengers hit request, they can quickly and safely get there.”
But there is nowhere for their drivers to park.
Kasra Moshkani, General Manager of Uber South Florida: “We’re in conversations with the airport in order to find the best ways for ride sharing to really fit in to operations at the airport. Uber drivers today aren’t allowed to park in the cell phone lots or the taxi lots.”
An airport spokesperson told us: “The Aviation Department is also evaluating potential locations on airport property that may be used as a waiting area…”
Uber and business owners are hoping for a solution soon to fix this problem that’s bad for business.
Erika Guardiola: “Something that would help is if they had little hubs or something especially that were right by the airport.”
Kasra Moshkani: “It’s very much in the spirit of coming to a mutual resolution. What can we do to be helpful?”
The Aviation department and Uber say they are actively working together to find a spot for Uber drivers to park at the airport.
The Miami-Dade Aviation Department says, “Uber’s permit documents to operate in Miami-Dade County are still pending and that is why they cannot currently park on MIA property. Once Uber’s permit process is completed, we will have a waiting area ready for them.”
An Aviation spokesperson also tells us they are planning to put up signs to help direct Uber drop offs and pick ups soon.
To read more about how Uber drop offs and pick ups work at Miami International Airport go to https://www.uber.com/miami-drivers/driver-tips/mia/
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