TAMPA (FOX 13) - Thursday morning the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority approved contracts with Uber, Lyft and a third company, Wingz, for their drivers to pick up passengers at Tampa International Airport - officially.
They had been doing so without any agreements for a couple years. Spokesperson Janet Zink said that's now in the past.
“They can pick you up at the curbside and they can drop you off at the curbside you're only charged for pickups,” Zink said. “Previously if we found a ride share company operating here a driver would be warned after three warnings they'd be trespassed.”
In June, the board approved trip fees for commercial ground transportation. For taxis, that goes into effect early next year.
For Uber and Lyft, the $3 fee kicks in immediately. Next year, it'll be $4 and the year after that it tops out at $5.
Travelers like Joel Gonzalez are on board.
“It might make it a little busier for Ubers to come in and out but I think it's a great idea,” Gonzalez said.
Tiffany Williams is a driver for both Uber and Lyft.
“Yes, I am very excited, more money,” Williams said.
But taxi drivers like Sha Jahan don't share that same enthusiasm
“We're already losing money to Uber and Lyft,” he said. “It is not good for our business for Yellow Cab or United Cab for nobody,” he added.
The airport says this isn't about pitting one service against another but rather providing options for busy travelers.
Lyft's Senior Manager of Airports and Venues, Kirk Safford issued a statement saying, "We worked collaboratively with the team at Tampa International Airport to arrive at an agreement that brings Lyft's safe, reliable, and affordable service to travelers at TPA. While we are happy to be offering our services to Tampa passengers, we are concerned about the annual fee increases and are hopeful that we can revisit this part of the agreement after six months of operation to ensure that Lyft rides to and from the airport remain affordable for travelers. Airport fees are collected from the passenger as part of the fare, which allows for the best passenger and driver experience at the airport. It does not impact driver earnings."