'Money grab' may chase Uber, others from PHX

Friday, January 10, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

ride-sharing at airportThe Phoenix City Council recently voted to increase fees on ride-sharing services at Sky Harbor International Airport by 300 percent – an action that one attorney says directly violates the Arizona constitution.

"To add insult to injury, they didn't increase it for anything [that's] related to ride-sharing service," says Jonathan Riches, director of national litigation at the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute. "They increased those [fees] to pay for a sky-train that these users don't use and that the city had improperly budgeted."

Indeed, the airport argues that the new fee structure should "incentivize" use of the PHX Sky Train and, as well, cut down on the traffic congestion.

The city's action in December both imposed an entirely new drop-off fee of $4 (increasing to $5 by 2024) and increased the existing pickup fee at Sky Harbor from $2.66 to $4 (also increasing to $5 by 2024), effective February 1. According to Riches, that will make fees for ride-sharing services at the airport some of the highest in the country.

"Because the city council did this, the ride-sharing services said 'We're going to pull out, we're not going to provide service anymore because this is not fair to us, it's not fair to our drivers or our passengers,'" says Riches.

airliner taxiing travelA notice on the Sky Harbor website says it "has not been formally notified that either Uber or Lyft will cease operations on a specific date." Should that happen, though, Sky Harbor International – one of the largest airports in the U.S. – would be the only major airport in the country that doesn't have ride-sharing services provided to customers who want to use it there.

"It was decided by a few left-wing local politicians and it's going to have repercussions for the entire state of Arizona," says Riches. "So, I think a lot of people are offended by this – they're offended by the policy and they're offended by an illegal action by the city."

Seattle recently raised trip fees on ride-sharing services, using the increase for "things like light-rail and alternative modes of transportation," according to Riches.

"[But] Phoenix just decided that this was a money grab and they went after it. In fact, they went after it in a way that directly violates Arizona's constitution," he contends.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What's behind the leftward-drift among major Protestant denominations in America?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump thanks farmers for backing him through China trade war
US VP Pence honors Martin Luther King Jr. at church service
Governor: 2 police officers die after Hawaii shooting
No escape: Senators to be quiet, unplugged for Trump trial
Bodies of 11 Ukrainians killed in Iran plane crash sent home

LATEST FROM THE WEB

California tells ranch owners, 'Your land is our land'
Frederick Douglass vs. MLK: Competing visions for social justice?
All nonprofits should be terrified of this new court decision
Watch Adam Schiff tell three laughable impeachment whoppers in less than 90 seconds
Apple is right to refuse to help the FBI hack into iPhones. The federal government can’t be trusted with additional surveillance powers

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Significant GDP growth expected from 'phase one'

U.S. and China flagsA partial trade agreement between the U.S. and China has its share of critics and supporters.