ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Anchorage transportation officials are proposing a fee for ride-sharing companies doing business at the airport. According to one of the major companies, it's a price too high, and will ultimately be a detriment to the people of Anchorage.
The fee was initially proposed at $3, but during a public comment period, many spoke out against it, some of which were either drivers with ride-sharing companies like Uber or Lyft, or customers who frequently use the popular apps.
Keith Day, international airport system controller for the Department of Transportation, said the price has been reduced to $2.50 now, and is intended to "try to restrict traffic being shifted" due to Lyft drivers congesting pick-up lanes at the airport.
The proposed fees won't just impact Lyft, but will also apply to Uber and other ride-sharing companies, also known as TNCs, or Transportation Network Companies.
Uber didn't reply to KTUU's emails, but Lyft did, and the company expressed disappointment with the proposed fees, which it says will directly impact the customers.
"We are disappointed that Alaska's Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to propose such high fees for both pickups and dropoffs-- costs that will ultimately impact customers and airport employees," Lauren Alexander, spokesperson with Lyft, said in an email on Friday.
"We hope that the DOT will reconsider these unfair and high fees," Alexander said. As for being "unfair," Day disagreed.
Day said that, as of right now, other shuttle and cab companies who use the airport already pay "some form of compensation," and that the proposed fee will just be the way in which transportation giants like Uber or Lyft pay their fair share.
In addition, Day said an added benefit of the fee will be to collect data on exactly how much TNCs are impacting Ted Stevens.
"That's probably the bigger reason we're seeing that rate being imposed on it," Day said. "They're operating and have been operating is our understanding, but we don't know how many, we don't know how often. They're not regulated and we don't know much about them at this point."