Alaska’s three largest airports are preparing to levy fees on people who use ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft.
In a public notice filed last week, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced that it will levy a $3 per-ride fee on “transportation network companies” that use the Anchorage and Fairbanks airports. Transportation network company is the technical term for companies like Uber and Lyft that use smartphone applications to connect freelance drivers with people who need rides.
House Bill 132, which passed the Legislature last year and was signed by Gov. Bill Walker, made Alaska the last state in the country to allow transportation network companies. A clause within the bill allows DOT — which owns most of the state’s airports — to negotiate fees for those companies to operate at a state-owned airport.
According to the notice, the fee will become effective Feb. 1. The fee does not apply to state-owned airports in Southeast, such as the airports at Sitka and Ketchikan.
In Juneau, the state’s third-largest airport is owned and operated by the City and Borough of Juneau. Airport Manager Patty Wahto said by phone that the airport is negotiating with Uber and Lyft and has settled on a fee of $1.50 per rider. She was unable to say when that fee would be implemented, but that it would be soon.
The city previously stated its concerns with HB 132, and the CBJ Assembly asked Gov. Bill Walker to veto the legislation. After the bill’s passage, the airport’s board of directors suggested a $3 per rider fee, in line with the state-owned airports.
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