Thursday, February 25, 2016

Uber and Lyft officially banned from Newark Airport and Train Station

UPDATE (Jan '17): the ban has been lifted and the lawsuit challenging the lifting of the ban has failed. 

As a Manhattanite, I hate Newark Airport (EWR). If I take a car I have to crawl through Soho to the tunnel, which can literally take hours if you're flying anywhere near rush hour. Or I schlep my bags to the F train, walk two avenues over to Penn Station (hope it's not raining, snowing, or sweltering hot out!) get on the line for a ticket machine, wait up to 30 minutes for a Newark Airport-bound train, then switch to that verkachte Monorail thing that has a top speed of 7 miles per hour while praying that my terminal isn't at its last stop because it's literally 25 minutes between the first stop and the last stop.

And getting back to Manhattan is no picnic, either. Taxi lines are long, there's always some kind of brouhaha between the taxi line manager and several of the cabs, and to top it all off the only way you can pay with a credit card is to pre-pay at this crazy yellow machine at the taxi stand. It's ridiculous. Even the fancy new food options can't make up for all of its inconveniences. 

Whenever I've tried to use Uber, it always gives you this "cover their ass" message at Newark about calling your driver to negotiate a pickup spot... Well it looks like now EWR has gone a step further and fully banned them and Lyft from doing pickups. And, as usual, there's a bunch of back-and-forth about how enforced it will be. 

United doubled-down on Newark a few years ago and moved everything – including their flagship PS service – to Newark. Their CEO lost his job trying to bribe convince NJ officials to extend the PATH train all the way to the airport, but sadly I'll probably be dead before that could ever get built.


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