TAMPA, FLA. - Tampa International Airport's board of directors approved a new agreement on Thursday morning that will add a surcharge to all rideshare, taxi and shuttle pickups.
As 10Investigates reported last month, the fees for rideshare pickups will start at $3 immediately, with a planned increase to $4 in October 2018 and finally to $5 in October 2019. Similar taxi surcharges are expected to start around February when automated technology can be installed at each airport curbside.
The $3 pickup surcharge could start immediately.
Other for-hire vehicles, such as hotel shuttles and courtesy vehicles would start paying fees as well, starting at $2.50/pickup next year and climbing to $4.50/pickup in 2020.
The planned changes, which also include restructuring how the airport charges taxicabs, were negotiated between airport staff and interested parties, including rideshare and taxi companies.
An airport spokesperson called the new charges "cost recovery fees" to help pay for the airport's ground transportation expenses. Taxicabs, limos, and shared shuttles accounted for the majority of the $1.2 million the airport raised in pickup fees last year.
But that number could grow to $5.4 million in just a few years thanks to the new fees.
So far, Uber and Lyft have only agreed to the first year of the phased-in fees, with a second one-year option included in the deal. But Uber suggested the $5/pickup fee was steeper than recently-approved airport fees in Miami ($2/pickup), Fort Myers ($2), West Palm Beach ($2.50) and Fort Lauderdale ($3).
A Tampa International Airport spokesperson pointed to the $5.80/pickup fee recently-approved by Orlando International Airport.
10Investigates will continue to monitor the progress of the deal and report new developments throughout the week.
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