TF Green: We offered to cut Uber fees, but were told, ‘no thanks’

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — As the battle over fees wages on between T.F. Green Airport and the ride-hailing service Uber, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation made it clear Monday that Uber customers can still take the service to the airport.

The company Friday announced that starting this week its drivers would no longer be picking up passengers at the airport because of an ongoing fee dispute. Drivers for ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are charged a $6 fee to pick up passengers from the airport, which the company said is the highest in the country.

However, in a statement Monday, RIAC pointed out passengers can still take Uber and get dropped off for no extra fee.

The issue arises only in picking up, said Bill Fischer, a spokesperson for T.F. Green.

He said taxis are only allowed to pick up at the curb on the arrivals level. Limousines, “black car” services, and ride-hailing services face an $85 fee if they attempt to receive a passenger at the curb.

Instead, those drivers must enter the short-term parking lot “D” for pickup at a reserved shelter, and pay a fee to get out. Both Uber and Lyft both passed the $6 fee on to the passenger.

A Lyft spokesperson said Friday the company agrees the airport’s pickup fee is too high, but it had no plans to suspend operations.

In an attempt to reach a deal with Uber, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation said it made an offer last month to lower the fee they charge Uber drivers to pick up passengers by $1.

But RIAC said Uber still wasn’t satisfied with that.

Fischer said Lyft drivers will now receive the discount that had been offered to Uber. The pickup fee will now be $5 per trip.

After Monday’s RIAC statement, Uber spokesperson Alix Anfang reiterated the company’s points that the $6 fee was “the highest fee at any airport in the country,” and that the airport was not willing to make a “reasonable” agreement.

“We are extremely disappointed that, left with no other choice, we have to suspend Uber operations at the airport,” Anfang said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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