WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Ride-sharing platform Uber announced Friday it will stop picking up passengers at T.F. Green International Airport due to disputes with airport officials over fees.
According to a spokesperson for Uber, the company will suspend pickups at the airport starting next week. The company said it tried to work with the airport to come to an agreement for nearly a year, but a compromise was never met.
According to Uber, T.F. Green’s ride-sharing fee is $6 per ride, while taxis only pay $1.50 to pick up passengers at the terminal.
Eyewitness News received a statement from Uber, stating the company had “no other choice” but to suspend its services:
“T.F. Green doubled an already high fee on Rhode Islanders who use ride-sharing services at the airport, making it the highest fee at any airport in the country. For nearly a year, Uber has tried to work with the airport in order to come to a reasonable agreement that ensures that Rhode Island residents and visitors can get an affordable ride, but unfortunately, the airport has been unwilling to do so.”
Uber said it has been able to work with airports around the country to reduce these fees such as Atlanta, where fees are $3.85, and Memphis, where fees are $2. The company said it has also worked with Logan Airport in Boston, which has a fee of $3.25.
T.F. Green Airport officials said the decision Uber made is “their choice alone” and they are disappointed to inconvenience their passengers.
“For the past several months, they have employed heavy-handed negotiating tactics in an attempt to pressure the Rhode Island Airport Corporation to lower fees,” The Rhode Island Airport Corporation said in a statement. “This is a tactic they are employing at every major airport in the country. We will not be bullied by Uber.”
RIAC said because of ride-sharing services like Uber, the airport has lost money from revenue sources like long-term parking and rental cars.
“We are mandated by federal law to be self-sustaining and must generate revenue to support the operations of the airport,” RIAC said.
RIAC said it understands Uber is a popular mode of transportation with the airport’s passengers and encouraged passengers to contact Uber if they are upset about the change.
Lyft, another ride-share company, will still be offering rides to and from the airport.
A spokesperson for Lyft said while the company will continue to provide rides for passengers at T.F. Green, they believe the fees are too high:
“For a long time, we’ve been glad to be able to offer pickups and drop-offs for travelers at PVD. While we feel that the current fees imposed at PVD are too high, we are committed to working collaboratively with the airport to find a solution. We intend to continue our conversations with the airport in hopes of identifying a solution that provides convenient transportation for passengers and earning opportunities for drivers.”