PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Starting January 1st, expect to pay more for an Uber of Lyft ride to Sky Harbor International Airport.
With a 7-2 vote, Phoenix City Council approved increasing the ride-share fees for trips to and from the airport, Wednesday.
Travelers who use services like Uber and Lyft already pay a $2.66 fee to be picked up that the airport. There is no surcharge for drop-offs.
That green light makes Sky Harbor International Airport one of the most expensive airports for ride-share users.
Sky Harbor wanted to increase the fee for ride-share users to $5 per ride -- $10 per round trip. The increase is graduated over the next few years.
According to Sky Harbor, the fee for ride-share users will go up to $4 each way next year. It will increase to $4.25 in 2021, $4.50 in 2022, $4.75 in 2023, and then $5 in 2024.
The money will help fund the airport's ground transportation program. Sky Harbor is self-supporting, which means it does not get any tax revenue.
Those in favor say it will keep Sky Harbor Modern.
"As a common worker myself, I pay my taxes on time, I pay whatever fees or dues that I need to pay on time, so you know as an American citizen just do your part," said Adrian DeMoss who works at the airport and used rideshares often to get there.
Meanwhile some rideshare drivers worry it might scare some of their customers away.
"Because Lyft is my primary source of income, it's going to affect me dramatically. Being a single mom of four, and I rely on this income on a daily basis. I drive 7 days a week," said driver, Jeanna Taylor.
Travelers who take the PHX Sky Train to the 44th Street Station to meet with their ride-share driver will see a discounted rate, 30% off the new fee.
The goal there is to create an incentive that will reduce traffic congestion by the terminals.
Councilman Sal DiCiccio was one of the dissenting votes.
"You’re going to need to fight it," he told Uber and Lyft drivers who were at the meeting to protest the fee hike. "You're going to need to do everything you can to stop this."
According to a statement from his office, DiCiccio also told company representatives that they needed to "protect" and "defend" their drivers.
"We are disappointed in the outcome of today’s hearing," Lyft spokesman Bakari Brock said. "This tax unfairly burdens riders who rely on Lyft for affordable and convenient transportation to and from Sky Harbor with funding the $26 million needed to complete SkyTrain construction unrelated to their choice of transportation. Lyft will be reviewing airport operations in the coming days to determine the best path forward for future service at Sky Harbor."
Uber released a similar statement.
“Uber is tremendously disappointed the Phoenix City Council has chosen to hand down a 200% round trip fee increase on the most popular form of transportation at Phoenix Sky Harbor: ridesharing," a spokesman said. "Make no mistake - this action will significantly raise costs and could hurt Phoenix-area families who need a convenient, affordable ride to the airport. As we’ve stated previously, we support paying our fair share, but this fee increase is egregious and unfair to our riders and drivers. We are exploring all options in terms of a path forward.”
Taxis, shuttles and charter buses also pay pickup and drop-off fees.
"While certain regulated providers, like taxis, are not allowed to pass fees onto the drivers or their customers, other unregulated providers such as ride-share operators can choose whether to pass the fees to their customers or drivers," according to the City of Phoenix.