The popular and sometimes controversial ride-hailing service Uber has been cleared to take passengers into New Orleans from Louis Armstrong International Airport, company and city officials announced Friday.
The company’s luxury Uber Black service has been providing service from the airport since last year, but the airport had been off-limits to the company’s lower-cost UberX service.
The firm announced Friday that UberX users can now get a ride from a company driver to downtown New Orleans for $33. That figure includes a $4 surcharge imposed by the airport that company officials say is “nearly double the average of similar-sized hub airport fees” in other cities.
The fare for a taxi ride from the airport to the Central Business District is $36 for one or two people and $15 per person for three or more passengers.
Those wishing to take Uber from the airport should go to the Ground Transportation Center and look for signs that say “App Based Ride Services.”
The news of Uber’s availability comes amid one of the city’s busiest periods of tourism, with the French Quarter Festival bringing in thousands of visitors this weekend and Jazz Fest taking up the last two weekends of the month.
Uber allows users, via a phone app, to book rides with drivers in private vehicles that have signed up with the company.
The service has come under legal assault from traditional taxi drivers, who say they are held to higher and costlier standards, in New Orleans and elsewhere, than Uber and similar services.