Uber and Lyft expand Toronto services to Pearson Airport

Toronto’s leading ride-sharing services have expanded their market.

On Tuesday, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) announced the launch of a pilot project allowing Uber and Lyft to pick up and drop off passengers at Pearson Airport.

“This ride sharing pilot provides another regulated, municipally approved transportation option for 47 million annual airport passengers and more than 49,000 workers at Toronto Pearson,” the organization said in a June 12 release.

According to Scott Collier, vice president of GTAA’s Customer and Terminal Services division, the pilot was a response to “significant demand” from passengers.

“We believe that a pilot of full ride sharing options is timely at Toronto Pearson, and in line with other airports across Canada and the U.S. already offering this service,” Collier said in the release. “We appreciate the collaboration of the ground transportation industry in sharing their feedback and welcome another opportunity to offer our passengers choice in their transportation options.”

Demand or no, Uber hasn’t had an easy time making inroads into the lucrative urban Canadian market, with Toronto an especially tough sell until recently. The ride-sharing giant famously forced itself into the city in 2016, only gradually finding acceptance from the city’s government after prolonged negotiations and the development of a digital ‘Vehicle for Hire’ licensing system that netted the City of Toronto an ITWC Digital Transformation award last year.

Lyft, meanwhile, only entered the city late last year.

During the pilot’s development, the GTAA “studied best practices at other North American airports and consulted regularly with transportation industry partners to understand the benefits to passengers and impacts to operators” before approving the project, according to the organization’s release.

The GTAA has also promised to solicit feedback from passengers and transportation providers alike.

According to the organization, Pearson sees an average of 100,000 ride sharing requests per month.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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