Drivers protest free Disney shuttle service
More than 100 taxi and luxury-sedan drivers turned out Wednesday at Orlando International Airport to protest OIA's handling of Disney's Magical Express shuttle. The drivers, most of whom work as independent contractors or on their own, have complained that the free shuttle to the Walt Disney World resort has taken away their business at the airport. Those drivers say they rely heavily on business and leisure travelers making reservations for pick-up from the airport, but that the free shuttle has lured many clients away. Though they are prohibited from soliciting passengers at the airport, the drivers have complained that Disney was committing a similar offense with its "greeter" posted on the third level of the terminal. The airport has ordered Disney to remove those greeters by the end of the month. Disney has tried to point out the benefits of Magical Express, which transports about 5,000 people a day. It says the shuttle reduces traffic congestion and has reduced wait times in check-in and baggage lines at the airport. The program began in May and is scheduled to complete its trial at the end of 2006.