NFTA adding extra charge for ride sharing to or from Buffalo airport

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — You might have to dig a little deeper to get a ride to or from the airport once ride sharing comes to town next week.

The NFTA has voted to slap on a surcharge that will be paid for by Uber and Lyft passengers.

The Transit Authority is in charge of parking at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. They project losing tens of thousands of parking users a year to Uber and Lyft.

Now, they are charging the ride sharing companies $5,000. Anyone who gets a ride to or from the airport will have to pay an extra $3.50.

NFTA Director of Aviation William Vanacek says “This is a big hit to revenue…It’s going to be a one-year pilot, and so when we come back in a year, we’ll be able to evaluate what the impact is.”

Uber is reviewing the agreement, and on Friday, they released a chart comparing other prices at airports in 2014:

Airport 2014 Annual # of Passenger Enplanements TNC Pickup Fee TNC Per Drop
Los Angeles (LAX)* 34,314,197 $4.00 $4.00
Denver (DEN)* 26,000,591 $2.15 $2.15
San Francisco (SFO)* 22,756,008 $3.85 $3.85
Houston Bush (IAH) 19,772,054 $2.75 $0.00
San Diego (SAN) 9,333,152 $1.62 $0.00
Portland (PDX)* 7,878,760 $2.00 $2.00
Houston Hobby (HOU) 5,800,726 $1.25 $0.00
Nashville (BNA) 5,396,958 $3.50 $0.00
Austin (AUS) 5,219,982 $1.00 $0.00
Oakland (OAK) 5,069,257 $3.15 $3.15
Kansas City (MCI) 4,982,722 $3.00 $0.00
Orange County (SNA) 4,584,147 $2.25 $0.00
Pittsburgh (PIT) 3,827,860 $2.90 $0.00
Indianapolis (IND) 3,605,908 $2.50 $0.00
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG) 2,874,684 $3.00 $0.00
Albuquerque (ABQ)* 2,354,184 $1.00 $0.00
Burbank (BUR) 1,928,491 $3.00 $0.00
Memphis (MEM) 1,800,268 $2.00 $0.00

Lyft responded to the NFTA fees with a statement:

“While we understand ground transportation fees are a part of doing business, the fee structure proposed by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is the 5th highest in the country, and outside of industry standards for the size of its operations. During the hearing NFTA staff justified their position to the Board with incorrect examples of other airport fee structures. We will not be able to operate at BUF under these terms. Lyft has worked with over 220 airports across the country to help with cost recovery, and we are hopeful we will be able to find a way forward here as well.”

Ride sharing officially comes to Buffalo and the rest of upstate New York on June 29.

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