Fees could be coming for commercial vehicles at Rick Husband

Updated: Jan. 18, 2018 at 10:40 PM CST
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Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Some taxi cab, Uber and Lyft drivers voiced their displeasure this evening as Rick Husband International Airport staff discussed their proposal to implement new fees.

Airport staff held a public meeting to gain input on the proposal of an ordinance that would impose a one dollar fee for those picking up travelers.

"Your taxicab companies, limousine companies, shuttle bus operators  and other transportation companies like Uber and Lyft," said Conner.

Conner said they are just now proposing these changes because the state legislature recently released new regulations that allow them to do so.

This proposal will also change some of their commercial lane operations.

"The taxi cab companies we're looking to regulate with a physical barrier such as a gate that they'll be able to go through only those type of operators will be able to go through," said Conner. "The transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft will be regulating them through electronic measures."

However, not everyone is ready to make the change.

"If I'm bringing them from town to here, why should I pay you?," said one meeting attendee. "I pay my phone bills, I pay the City of Amarillo already because I'm a cab driver. I pay them a fee every time I spend my gas to go get them a bring them here. I'm supplying you with a customer at that point."

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On the other hand, some Uber and Lyft drivers such as Cali Michael think the change could be beneficial.

"You're gonna have people that aren't gonna want to pay out a dollar," said Michael. "Some of them like their money too much and so that'll eliminate some of the ones that are just coming out here."

Owner of Sky Limousine Brian Vogt also says her supports the proposal.

"The people that do make a living coming out here should pay more unlike my limousine service," said Vogt. "Limos and buses might come out here once a year. So I don't mind paying a small fee."

According to Conner, the money from these proposed fees will go toward improving the airports infrastructure.

"No one wants to pay additional fees for anything, but the airport is looking at the cost of operating the airport and maintaining the infrastructure here," said Conner. "Those costs go up every year so we just need additional revenue streams in order to maintain them in a quality manner. That's one of our initiatives is to improve the quality of the airport for the customer and just for everyone in general."

He added that the money will help maintain the ground transportation system in front of the airport, the roadway network and the signage.

The proposal is expected to be presented to Amarillo City Council next month.

However, Conner says it could be five to six months before the new regulations go into effect.

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