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Phoenix council approves extra fees for airport rideshares

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 18:24:09-05

The Phoenix City Council voted 7-2 Wednesday to raise fees charged to ride-hailing companies to $4 per trip to and from the airport.

Council members approved the increase from the current fee for ride-hailing companies are charged from $2.66 per pickup. That will jump to $4 starting Jan. 1 and would be applied to drop-offs as well.

The fee will gradually increase to $4.25 in 2021, $4.50 in 2022, $4.75 in 2023 and $5 in 2024.

The airport has offered to increase curb space for ride-hailing customers and improve Wi-Fi services so passengers can more easily find drivers.

An airport commission recommended the increase after a study showed airports in many other cities charge ride-hailing companies more.

The council voted 7-2 Oct 16 to raise the fees, but the decision was declared void because of a clerical error in posting the proposed increase for the amount of time required by Arizona state law.

Uber and Lyft had threatened to stop their Sky Harbor International Airport operations if the increase goes through starting in 2020. The companies have not responded since the vote was passed.

Jenna Bentley, director of government affairs for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, said in a recent post the move will leave tens of thousands of people in the area without one of the most affordable and convenient ways to get to the airport.

Sky Harbor Airport issued the following statement immediately following the vote:

"Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport does not receive any tax revenue and is supported only by rent and fees paid by those who use its facilities. Commercial ground transportation businesses have been paying only a fraction of what it costs to operate the ground transportation program at Sky Harbor that supports their operation and are currently being subsidized by other Airport businesses. With the changes approved by City Council today, the commercial ground transportation providers will be treated similarly to the other companies doing business at Sky Harbor."