Uber, Lyft drivers call for parking privileges at Jersey Shore

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SEA GIRT -

As the summer tourism season begins at the Jersey Shore, more beachgoers are using Uber and Lyft to get around town instead of traditional taxis. However, some Uber drivers tell News 12 New Jersey that their popularity doesn't translate into preferential treatment.

“Having a safe spot we can pick-up and drop-off right in front of the establishment is the best solution for everybody,” Uber and Lyft driver David Kayal said.

Kayal picked up countless passengers last weekend all across the shore, including the Parker House in Sea Girt. 

He said he believes the problems happen when passengers roam the neighborhoods to find their ride.

“They may litter. They may yell and be loud, and the quicker you can get them into a car out of town, it's better for everybody, including the police. (It) makes their job easier,” Kayal said.

Sea Girt Police Chief Kevin Davenport said taxi cabs licensed by the borough get priority spots in front of the Parker House, where crowds often top 1,000 people.

“We want people to come out of the Parker House, get into the taxi cabs and exit out of town. We try to make that convenient,” the police chief said.

In years past, Sea Girt allowed car-sharing service drivers to pick-up and drop-off passengers in front of the beach pavilion. Last year, though, their access was revoked due to the overwhelming amount of vehicles at the location.

“There's probably 250 to 300 Uber drivers that drive down there. We just don't have that ability to block that many parking places off,” Davenport said.

The police chief said he’s open to suggestions.

Drivers, including Kayal, said they hope for a compromise by Fourth of July weekend.

“It's great we are a tourist destination. We just have to make it work,” Kayal said.

Davenport said thanks to all the ride options available, the police chief said he’s seeing the lowest number of drunk drivers on the roads in his 20-year career in law enforcement.

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