Port Authority explores airport access fees at Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia

Toni Yates Image
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Newark airport drop off fee
Toni Yates reporting live at Newark airport with the details.

NEWARK, N.J. (WABC) -- A new proposal could cost you more when you use a car service at the airport.

The Port Authority is considering implementing an airport access fee.

This would involve vehicles for hire like Uber and Lyft.

That fee would then be passed on to the consumer.

"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.

Here's a listen, Port Authority, to some of what you'd hear from for-hire car drivers at any hearing proposing an access fee.

"As a matter of fact, this is New Jersey. We pay too much money for tolls," said Fatai Onafuwa, a driver.

The access fee would be charged to drivers who want to pick up or drop off passengers at Newark Liberty, LaGuardia and JFK.

They've gotten very busy with for-hire car services.

Dulles in Washington, DC now charges car services $4 to drive on site to pick up or drop off fares. It's called an airport access fee.

"The riders pay enough money to leave Newark Airport that if they charge the $4 to come on the property, I think it's worth the $4," said Nicolla Dispoto, an Uber driver.

The Port Authority says its airports are among only a few in the country that don't charge the fee, which averages $2 to $4.

It's not on the table now. But it is an idea the Port Authority says it would consider if necessary for airport upgrades to accommodate traffic control needs.

"I don't think $4 will stop people. You pay it and you come here. But I'm sure one of the main issues will be traffic. It would cause too much traffic," said Akmal Sadullaev, a driver.

Port Authority police were very active there Wednesday keeping the terminal curbside clear of for-hire congestion. If the fee helps pay for a better system for pick ups and drop offs, some are in favor.

"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.