Travelers who book an Uber or Lyft to pick them up from the Jacksonville Airport will soon have to pay a fee.
Taxi riders were already paying the airport a fee of $2.50 cents for each pick-up. For about the next two months, the same fee will start to apply when riders book Ubers or Lyfts.
Then, after Sept. 1, the fee for all rides will go up to $3.25 — that’s on top of the usual fare. The airport will charge the transportation companies, which will pass the increases along to riders.
The fees will apply only on rides from the aiport; rides to the airport will cost the normal amount.
Why Fees Now
Fees are being introduced, Uber spokesman Javi Correoso said, because of a new state law that allows airports to charge them and requires the fees be uniform for both traditional cabs and app-based ride services.
Jacksonville’s $3.25 is higher than most, Correoso said. Uber riders pay $2 at the Miami airport, $2.50 in Palm Beach, and $3 in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. The Orlando airport is the king of pickup fees, though, with a $5 charge to grab a ride there.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority’s decision on fees came after a tense back and forth, a letter from Uber to the JIA shows.
While cab riders were already paying $2.50, the airport attempted to impose the $3.25 fee only on Uber or Lyft rides. After Uber objected to the discrepancy, JIA demanded it stop operating at the Jacksonville airport altogether unless it agreed to pay the higher amount.
Then, after Uber outlined its objections under the new state law in an Aug. 2 letter, JIA agreed to the fee parity.
At the same time, Uber is set early next week to sign an operating agreement with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority that will dictate driver and car safety requirements. The authority in May signed a similar agreement with Lyft, which required Lyft drivers to complete DMV record checks and submit their vehicles to 19-point inspections, in addition to carrying the minimum insurance required by the state.