MYR aims for smooth travel weekend after years of traffic proble - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

MYR aims for smooth travel weekend after years of traffic problems during Memorial Day holiday

MYR's holiday weekend campaign is to ensure smooth travel. (Source: Myrtle Beach International Airport) MYR's holiday weekend campaign is to ensure smooth travel. (Source: Myrtle Beach International Airport)
Taxi companies are working with MBPD to serve airport passengers through the holiday weekend. (Source: Lisa Gresci) Taxi companies are working with MBPD to serve airport passengers through the holiday weekend. (Source: Lisa Gresci)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Though the Grand Strand has seen much more peaceful Memorial Day and Bikefest weekends since the fatal shootings that marred the 2014 holiday weekend, over at the Myrtle Beach International Airport, it's been a much different story.

“It's really tough, it's real tough,” Bill Delaney, a local cab driver, said.

Cab drivers line up every day at MYR ready to take passengers home, or to their vacation destinations. However, since the traffic loop went into effect in 2015, some have been left at the curb.

“People were stranded. There were people stranded all over the place,” Delaney said.

He added it wasn't that the cab drivers didn't want to pick these people up, it was more that they couldn’t.  

“It was a real problem because you had the loop, it was a 26-mile loop. If you couldn't get in or out ... the airport was a real nightmare,” Delaney said.

This year though, Myrtle Beach police have been working with the airport to have an open line of communication so they know which flights are coming in at what times.

Assigning a "taxi officer" to communicate with all of the taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft will assist drivers in and out of the airport in the hours they will need it most.

“They set us up where if, you have a permit, from 10 to 2, you can pick people up with the Myrtle Beach cab permit," Delaney said. "They are going to let people through, so it should be a lot better.”

For Uber and Lyft drivers, officers will be asking to see those credentials as well. Though it hasn't been the easiest to get to the airport since the city created the traffic loop, drivers say they are going to make it a point to be there in numbers this year.

“We’ll be here, so if you want to come to the airport don't think twice. If you come to the airport, we'll get you to where you need to go,” Delaney said.

Cab, Uber and Lyft drivers aren't the only ones the airport and police have been in touch with ahead of this weekend. They've also partnered with hotels and reached out to the very people traveling over the Memorial Day holiday to make sure everyone plans accordingly.

Airport officials urge anyone traveling to get to the airport at least two hours before their departure time, as it expects record numbers throughout the holiday weekend.

“So we're seeing double-digit seat capacity growth, which could result in double-digit passenger growth in and out, and the biggest travel day is actually the day of Memorial Day,” Kirk Lovell, the director of air services and business development for MYR, said.

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