Type to search

David Pendered Latest news Main Slider

Uber, Lyft crush taxies at Atlanta’s airport; cargo expansion underway: ATL GM

cargo, atl

Atlanta's airport is implementing the plan to become a major cargo handler, according to airport GM Roosevelt Council, Jr. Credit: airport-world.com

By David Pendered

As expected, Uber and Lyft trounced the traditional taxi industry at Atlanta’s airport during the first three months they operated at the airport, the airport’s general manager said Wednesday.

Uber and Lyft provided more than twice as many trips as the entire fleet of taxies that operate at the airport, according to figures provided by Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council, Jr. to the Atlanta City Council’s Transportation Committee.

Here are the figures from the first quarter of 2017:

  • Uber and Lyft: 396,903 pick-ups;
  • Taxi operations: 175,369 pick-ups.
  • The taxi figure represents a 9.7 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of 2016. Taxis picked up 194,272 trips during that period.

Council reminded the committee of the bitter battle waged by the transportation network companies, which includes Uber and Lyft, to gain access to the airport. Taxi drivers and companies fought, but failed to keep the TNC’s out of the world’s busiest passenger airport.

“It was a very emotional exercise for those guys,” Council said of the taxi drivers and companies. “Taxi operation have dropped 10 percent, comparing 2017 to 2016 numbers.”

taxi rides at airport

Taxies at Atlanta’s airport picked up 10 percent fewer rides in the first quarter of 2017 than in the same period in 2017, according to the airport’s general managers. Credit: Atlanta

Then Council offered a bright comment for the taxi industry.

“Although it’s going down, it’s still a viable service that people tend to look for at the airport,” Council said.

Cargo was another topic Council addressed in his quarterly update presentation to the committee. Atlanta intends to bolster the amount of cargo handled by Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The airport hopes to break ground soon on a 574,000 square foot cargo facility, Council said. A request for proposals has been issued and plans call for the facility to be operational by Dec. 31.

The business plan calls for the focus to be on high-value items including perishables, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, postal, aerospace and automotive, Council said. Talks are underway with Delta Air Lines, KLM and Air France, and others, to develop trade corridors that will make Atlanta’s airport a gateway into the U.S.

cargo, atl

Atlanta’s airport is implementing the plan to become a major cargo handler, according to airport GM Roosevelt Council, Jr. Credit: airport-world.com

Cargo is a market the airport intends to develop, according to remarks in the airport’s most recent comprehensive annual report, dated June 30, 2016.

To grow the market, Atlanta will have to recover a lot of lost trade.

The airport handled 14.3 percent less cargo in 2016 than in 2007. The number of metric tons dropped from 730,708 to 626,082, according to the annual report.

The good news is that the trajectory is heading up. The number of metric tons increased by 4 percent from 2014 through 2016. It rose from 601,441 metric tons in 2014 to 626,082 metric tons in 2016.

This growth may be attributed to some aggressive pricing by the airport. Cargo carriers that start new routes can have there parking fees waived as part of a new program that provides specific incentives for opening new international routes not already served from Atlanta.

A total of 23 cargo airlines serve Atlanta including China Cargo Airlines; Emirates Sky Cargo, Kalitta Air, Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Singapore Cargo and Turkish Airlines Cargo, according to the annual report.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


You Might also Like


  1. 316taxi (@316taxi) June 20, 2017 3:44 pm

    Those number of trips made by Uber and Lyft are being given by the same City Of Atlanta Atlanta Airport officials who get free rides and were paid over $100,000 to give these so-called rideshare companies their own space and meeting spot at the airport. Here at AtlantaAirport.Taxi I can assure you that our phone(we have one,, Uber and Lyft don’t), which began ringing when the business was started in December 2015, has received more phone calls each and every month. I can supply the phone records to prove it. Uber and Lyft are both giving alot of unhappy customers cut-rate rides and losing money trying to take over the Atlanta Airport taxi business. Meanwhile, Travis Kalanick is gone and Uber drivers are so happy with their jobs and making so much (YouTube) money that only 4% are still working with the company after one year.The nationwide shuttle company Super Shuttle pulled out of the Atlanta Airport. Just ask any airport traveller who needs to get to a hotel by the airport or from one of the airport hotels to the airport how great the Uber and Lyft rideshare companies are. The same is true for the College Park Marta riders looking for transportation, ask them how wonderful Uber and Lyft are.

    It’s one thing to say you’re going to ride the Taxi Tiger, it’s another thing to actually do it. Uber has been given only a 4 month permit in London, and China didn’t work out too well for them either. The only thing the Uber and Lyft rideshare companies are good at is ruining credit cards and below minimum wage job creation. As for actually transporting people, studies have shown that NYC taxi drivers do 4X the number of trips an Uber driver does.

    What’s an Atlanta Uber driver like? Just watch Uber Guy on YouTube. Uber Man and the other YouTube Uber celebrity vloggers have quit driving for Uber and have started the Delete Uber movement. How good is a service that a company has to give it away and still manages to lose money?

    In contrast, most Atlanta taxi drivers have worked at the same company well over 1 year, many for generations, and work long hours while jackass Uber drivers stop in the middle of Roswell Rd. in front of Johnny’s Hideaway and the fights, horns, wrecks, rapes, and carjackings will go on and on while City Of Atlanta officials try and give over to their political buddies the Atlanta taxi industry.

    Who knows? Maybe Atlanta Checker Cab will shut down and Uber and Lyft will become profitable with loyal customers. Time will tell.Report

  2. 316taxi (@316taxi) June 20, 2017 3:52 pm

    Actual comments from actual rideshare customers: http://www.316taxi.info

    Attention TRAVIS–>
    ++ Farewell Kalanick, I actually kinda miss ya and wish you luck with your next venture and girlfriend.++Report


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.