If you’re planning to hail an Uber or Lyft to BWI Airport, be prepared to pay an extra $2.50.
A Maryland panel on Wednesday formally authorized the ride-share operations at the airport, allowing them to legally pick up and drop off passengers on airport grounds. But the app-based services are being charged a $2.50 per-trip access fee that they will pass on to customers.
The increase will go into effect Thursday for Lyft riders; Uber riders could see it as early as the end of the week.
As part of the deal, the airport will create designated zones for pick-ups and drop-offs. Airport officials say the arrangement will establish a better mechanism for Lyft and Uber to operate at the region’s busiest airport. Last year, BWI served more than 25 million passengers.
Lyft and Uber have been available at BWI while airport officials worked through the details of an agreement with the two companies.
“Travelers have embraced easy-to-use, reliable, and affordable (rideshare) services,” Ricky Smith, chief executive officer at BWI said in a statement. “We want to ensure access to modern transportation options for local residents and visitors. This approval will help ensure convenient, safe ground transportation service for our airport customers.”
Lyft and Uber welcomed the new guidelines, saying they are pleased to reached a formal operating agreement after years of conversations with the airport. BWI joins more than 50 U.S. airports where Uber has a formal operating agreement.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Dulles International and Reagan National airports, set a similar agreement with Uber and Lyft nearly two years ago. That agreement established a $4 per-trip access fee at both airports, one of the highest in the country.
The contracts approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works give the companies two years to operate at the airport. The revenue from each trip will go to BWI.