90-day test run: Uber, Lyft now permitted to pick up passengers at Mitchell Intl. Airport

MILWAUKEE -- The curbs could get more crowded at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport very soon. That is because the airport has reached an agreement to offer a 90-day pilot program for popular ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft.

Uber allows to make pick-ups at Mitchell International Airport

Beginning Tuesday, March 15th, arriving passengers will have the option of selecting Uber or Lyft to reach their final destinations.  Previously, Uber and Lyft could drop-off passengers, but only Uber Black and Uber SUV could pick up passengers at the Airport.  As part of the pilot program, all Uber and Lyft services will be permitted to pick up passengers at the Airport.

"With an Uber driver, you get a better idea of the city you're in, and where to go, what's cool to see, what's cool to do," said Alyson Zwoniarkiewicz, who favors Uber.

Up until Tuesday, Uber and Lyft could do drop-offs at the airport, but only the top-tier Uber Black and Uber SUV were allowed to pick up. But for the next three months, all of the services' vehicles will be allowed to pick up passengers at the airport.

Taxis at Mitchell International Airport

"What we want is a level playing field for either Uber drivers or us," said Harpreet Singh, the vice president for the Southeast Wisconsin Taxi Drivers Association.

Singh said cab operators are concerned Uber drivers may not be subject to the same licensing restrictions.

"We have to go through all the channels. They should have to go through all that regulation," said Singh.

Lyft allowed to make pick-ups at Mitchell International Airport

But passengers who plan to purchase a ride on either service may need to pack some patience. While the airport may allow Uber drivers to pick up, as of Tuesday afternoon, the Uber app will not permit the new pick-ups.

"If I move the icon outside of the airport restrictions, you can see that it shows up. Uber X, Uber XL, Uber Select. But once you put it back, this is what the passengers see -- coming off the planes," said an unidentified Uber driver.

"We are optimistic that this pilot program will set the stage for the airport to offer convenient Uber and Lyft pickups permanently," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele in a statement.

The Uber and Lyft ride-sharing pick-up area is located between Baggage Claim Carousels 1 & 2.  Passengers requesting rides on Uber of Lyft should use the exit doors marked “Exit to Ticketing” located alongside the escalator.