Airports are Losing Money to Ride-Hailing Companies

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In the past, getting to or from the airport had always been an annoying experience. The travelers were faced with a dilemma on whether to drive and park their vehicles at a far distance or whether to use a rental car. When ride-hailing services such as Uber came on board, the experience changed for the better. The struggle became a thing of the past. When travelers began changing their trends, the airport finances became unstable. The number of people who park in the airport is reducing by day. The National Academies Press released a report indicating that even fewer people are using taxis and rental cars from the airport. It is to be noted that most of the airports rely on fees from rental car companies, taxis as well as parking lots more than the fees that are paid by airlines.

The change in trend by travelers has therefore affected airports since the money they get from ride-hailing services does not compensate for the incomes from other sources. To add salt to the injury, the report reveals that some airports have been required to employ more staff to oversee the operation of the ride-hailing companies. According to the director of Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Ray Mundy, airports ought to be self-sufficient and find other sources of revenue rather than draining the public purse. Henry Harteveldt is of the opinion that the decrease in income is just a tip of the iceberg. The travel analyst for Atmosphere Research believes that in the near future, the airport parking gravy will be empty given that autonomous vehicles are gaining popularity.

As a means of getting some income, airports have begun charging the ride-hailing services for picking up and dropping passengers. However, there is some inconsistency since only 23 out of 48 states have granted airports the mandate to charge the ride-hailing some fee for operating in the airports. Some airports have placed some restriction on areas where the ride-hailing companies may pick or drop passengers. As at 31st October this year, Lyft was operational in approximately 300 airports in the country while Uber operated in over 150 airports in North America. Airports have resulted in making parking more appealing. With $200 for a month, it is possible for a passenger to join Premier Parking at Jacksonville International Airport and a get guaranteed packing not farther than 200 feet from the terminal.

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