No taxis at RDU leave travelers confused, drivers looking for work

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021
No taxis at RDU leave travelers confused, drivers looking for work
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Can't find a taxi at RDU? You're not alone. Former drivers said the taxi company dissolved after the pandemic began, leaving travelers very confused when they try to find a ride.

The only way Joe Moore could get home from RDU International Airport Tuesday was by calling his son.

Moore had just arrived at RDU from Los Angeles and discovered there were no taxis.

"I always come in here with the attitude that you could get a cab, no problem and go home," said Joe, who waited for 30 minutes for his sister to eventually come. "I got very surprised today."

As long as Terminal 2 has been open, passengers could walk outside on the ground level and hop into an RDU Taxi.

According to former drivers, the company dissolved after the pandemic started.

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There were no signs of life at the taxi dispatch site across from the terminal.

"It's a very major airport, no taxis at the airports is ridiculous," said Ayman Zamil, who drove for RDU Taxi for years. "We know our customers, we love our customers and we'd love to serve them again."

RDU experiencing 'very steady increases' in travel; carriers begin resuming flights

RDU said it is working on a permanent solution for an airport taxi service.

"Until dedicated service is established, all travelers who want to be picked up by a taxi at the airport can call for a ride from a list of approved providers available at Information desks," according to a spokesperson.

Atta Rehman has organized a group of ex-drivers to form another service to help customers and themselves.

"I don't know why the airport is not taking action because passengers need a taxi," Rehman said.

As RDU encourages travelers to use approved ride providers, Lyft and Uber sent the following statements to ABC11:

"With the economy bouncing back and more people beginning to move, drivers are returning to the Uber platform to take advantage of higher earnings opportunities. In the past few weeks, we've seen a modest decrease in wait times for Uber rides and we hope to continue that progress in the months ahead," said an Uber spokesperson.

"Earlier this spring, as vaccines rolled out and people started moving again, we began to see the demand for rides outpace the number of available drivers. We've added thousands of drivers in the past few weeks and it's already leading to a better rider experience with wait times down more than 15% nationwide, and down 35% in some major markets. It continues to be a great time to drive with drivers in top markets earning significantly more than they were pre-pandemic," a Lyft spokesperson told ABC11.