SFO Celebrates First Legal Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing Service

A San Francisco-based company has become the first ride-sharing business to begin operating legally at San Francisco International Airport, an airport spokesman said.

RelayRides, which allows Bay Area travelers to park for free at hotels near SFO while their cars are rented out to visitors during their trips, is the first peer-to-peer car sharing company to be granted permission to operate at the Bay Area’s busiest airport, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

During negotiations with the airport, the company’s executives showed a “unique” willingness to comply with state and local rules governing airport ground transportation that Yakel said other ride-sharing companies—such as Lyft, UberX and FlightCar—have so far lacked.

“What really differentiates RelayRides from other transportation network companies is their willingness to work within the existing business structure at SFO,” Yakel said.

The company has also agreed to pay SFO 10 percent of the profits it earns from business generated at the airport, Yakel said.

“RelayRides has recognized that SFO is creating the customer demand,” Yakel said. “It puts them out in front of other companies.”

RelayRides CEO Andre Haddad issued a statement this week calling the SFO agreement a blueprint for how his company plans to expand its operations at airports across the country.

“This agreement is a terrific win for RelayRides and SFO, and an even bigger win for travelers who will benefit from an enhanced travel experience (free parking on the way out, and a less expensive, broader selection of rentals on the way in),” Haddad said.

The company has leased parking spaces at two hotel parking lots near the airport in Millbrae: the Westin San Francisco Airport and the Aloft San Francisco Airport.

Car owners who sign up with RelayRides are offered free parking—which can cost between $18 and $36 a day at SFO’s parking lots—and free transportation to and from the airport on hotel shuttles.

According to the company’s website, all vehicles are washed before they are returned, and anyone who is approved to rent them undergoes a background check.

The cost to rent a car through RelayRides varies depending on the type of car, but company officials say the prices are up to 40 percent less than those charged by traditional car rental companies.

More information about the company is available online at www.relayrides.com.

Chris Cooney, Bay City News

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