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Port Authority Mulling New Access Fee for Vehicle-for-Hire Drivers at Local Airports

Limousine driver smiling at cameraNew York flight passengers who plan on getting picked up or dropped off at the curb by a vehicle-for-hire may have to pay a little extra if new regulations are put in place by the city’s largest airports.

According to CBS New York, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering implementing a fee for curbside pick-up and drop-off at the Newark, Kennedy, and LaGuardia airports.

While nothing is official, the Port Authority is exploring the possibility due to the increase in popularity of companies like Uber and Lyft, that have created congestion in front of terminals.

“The operations of for-hire-vehicles and taxis at our airports are evolving rapidly and we are in the early stages of review,” the Port Authority said in a statement.

There are currently national airports located in 31 states, and New York and New Jersey are two of the only states that have not yet begun to charge curbside access fees. Just this week, the Dulles and Reagan national airports began charging a $4 access fee for similar services.

The Port Authority hasn’t given a potential dollar amount for the access fee because the proposal is still fairly new. Uber declined to comment on the issue because it is yet to be thoroughly explained, let alone passed and implemented.

According to local NY news affiliate ABC 7, drivers for vehicle-for-hire companies are already voicing their displeasure with the proposed access fees. While many outsiders assume the added costs will simply be added to a passenger’s tab, drivers are worried that the increased cost for consumers could deter them from using their service.

“It’s not right, it’s not fair, not everyone can afford it,” a driver said.

“It’s unfortunate, we pay so much in fines, now we got to get charged to work, you know. It’s ridiculous,” another driver said.

Despite the qualms of some drivers, other see it as a necessary evil for the burgeoning industry. They recognize how much of a burden the new traffic is on airports and understand the reasons behind the proposal.

“I don’t oppose that. I can understand that. The cops work very hard out here and they have a lot of stuff they have to keep in check,” a driver said.

There are no concrete plans to go forward with the proposal, but many believe it’s simply a matter of time before the access fees apply to every national airport across the country.