PHOENIX — The rideshare service Lyft says it will cease operations to and from Sky Harbor Airport if proposed fee increases for riders goes into effect.
The city of Phoenix already voted once and approved the proposed fee increases, but a clerical error in the process means the council will have to vote again in December.
Lyft says many of its riders live in poverty stricken areas and can’t afford to pay the extra fees.
Councilman Sal Diciccio tweeted out a copy of the letter Lyft recently sent to the Director of Aviation Services for Phoenix.
BREAKING NEWS: Lyft to pull out of Sky Harbor in response to massive airport tax!— Sal DiCiccio (@Sal_DiCiccio) November 18, 2019
"Phoenix politicians are about to stick it to the public once again," said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. Read more: https://t.co/laCauzvEt2 pic.twitter.com/E1VOlbxZxW
The airport currently charges customers $2.66 to pick up a rideshare car from the airport and no fee for drop-off.
If the measure is passed again, that pick-up fee will increase to $4.00 and there will be a brand new $4.00 fee to have a rideshare drop off at Sky Harbor. Starting January 1, 2020, that would mean $5.34 more per round trip.
The fee will also increase annually after 2020, eventually charging $5.00 for each direction in 2024.
Lyft released the following statement Monday to ABC15:
"We have reviewed our options at Sky Harbor and believe we are obligated to prevent the unfair penalization of our drivers and riders. They should not have to shoulder the burden of the city’s budget shortcomings for the Sky Train—a capital improvement project that is unrelated to their choice of transportation. We are currently engaged in ongoing conversations with airport leadership and we are hopeful we will be able to come to a more equitable solution before the fee goes into effect in January."
The city says the increase is long overdue after Sky Harbor made the decision to cut the fee in recent years. This new fee increase will put Sky Harbor among the priciest rideshare airports in the country.