“Uber has raised serious concerns with MWAA for months around this proposed fee increase,” an Uber spokeswoman said. "[National] and [Dulles] are going to have among the highest airport fees in the country. MWAA’s proposed fees would be a 25 percent increase for customers, but users will not see any appreciable improvement to their experience at those airports.”
Officials at Lyft also weren’t pleased.
“Increasing ride-share fees, without applying any proposal equitably to all ground transportation services, will make ride share less affordable for riders and reduce earning opportunities for drivers,” a company spokeswoman said. “We are hopeful that MWAA leaders will reexamine the proposed fee increase and identify better solutions for riders, drivers and airport officials.”
The increase would be the first since November 2015, when MWAA announced rules requiring the app-based services to obtain a permit and pay a $4-per-trip fee to pick up and drop off passengers. In doing so, the region’s airports joined those across the country that have instituted similar charges.
At Los Angeles International Airport, app-based ride services pay a $4 fee for each pickup and drop-off; at San Francisco International Airport, the fee is $4.50 per ride.
Ride-hailing services have quickly become one of the most popular means of getting to and from the airport. But their popularity has caused headaches for airport officials trying to manage traffic and curb space.
“Since 2015, [Transportation Network Companies] have grown to millions of annual transactions adding significant vehicle traffic to the Airport’s roadways,” according to a presentation prepared for Wednesday’s meeting. “Growth is not slowing — Year-to-Date 2019 has seen a greater year-over-year-increase in [Transportation Network Companies] trips than at the same point in 2018.”
Last month, Los Angeles International relocated the pickup area for app-based services in an effort to ease congestion around the busy airport, drawing angry rebukes from travelers.
The services also have cut into a significant source of revenue for airports: parking. MWAA officials estimate the authority has lost nearly $8 million in parking revenue since the services arrived. However, airports have been able to recoup some of that through fees charged to the ride-hailing companies.
The board is expected to review the plan Wednesday. The authority will accept public comment on the proposal. Jack Potter, MWAA president and chief executive, must approve the plan before it can be implemented.