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Port Authority Looking Into Taxi Fee for City Airports, Report Says

By Alexandra Leon | February 20, 2017 3:57pm | Updated on February 20, 2017 4:51pm
 The Port Authority is looking to add a $4 taxi fee to rides going in and out of John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark International airports.
The Port Authority is looking to add a $4 taxi fee to rides going in and out of John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark International airports.
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Flickr/Askar Khamdamov

NEW YORK CITY — Passengers going to and from New York City's airports could soon be paying more for their taxi or Uber rides, according to a report. 

The Port Authority is looking at charging passengers a $4 "access fee" for pickups and drop-offs from John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports next year, according to the New York Daily News.

The money would be used to fix up airports and pay for improvements to the taxi dispatch system, according to the newspaper.

A Port Authority spokesman said he did not have any information on the taxi fee.

The fee would be similar to those in place for Uber and Lyft passengers at other airports like Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and O’Hare in Chicago. 

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance said the fee would be "devastating" to taxi drivers, who already pay 50 cents from each fare to the MTA and 30 cents from each fare to a wheelchair accessible vehicle program.

"Paying a $4 fee to Port Authority on those fares means struggling taxi drivers would be working to subsidize this billion-dollar entity instead of supporting their families," Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the NYTWA, said in a statement. 

"And if the fee is passed on to passengers, drivers will lose airport fares and tourists will spend less on taxis while in New York City."

Uber has also come out against the proposed fee.

"We share the entire industry's concerns and look forward to an extensive public review process to better understand what steps the Port Authority will be taking to improve customer experience beyond sticking New Yorkers and tourists with excessive fees," Uber spokesman Josh Gold said in an email statement.

Public Advocate Letitia James said the proposed fee would "further burden" New Yorkers who lack convenient public transit to the city's airports, according to the Daily News

"At a time when access to New York City’s airports is already limited, the Port Authority should be focused on improving public transportation options, not increasing burdens on consumers,” James reportedly said in a letter to Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie.

Meanwhile, a Lyft spokesman said the company supports the proposed fee because an agreement would guarantee the ride-sharing service could operate at city airports. 

"We thank the staff of the Port Authority of NY-NJ for their collaborative effort on this agreement, which ensures that millions of JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Airports passengers will maintain access to Lyft's safe, reliable and affordable rides,” spokesman Adrian Durbin said in an email statement.