On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved amendments to the City Code which includes a large increase in fees on Uber, and Lyft drivers, along with their passengers. The code changes will also increase civil penalties for abandoning a vehicle at the Airport curb.
Beginning in 2020, new ground transportation fees will offer two options for rideshare (TNC) providers: A $2.80 drop-off and pick-up fee at the PHX Sky Train Station or a $4.00 drop-off and pick-up fee for service at the terminal curb.
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said his colleagues specifically targeted “the little guy, the independent small business owner trying to make a living.”
“You are the little guy, you are the hard workers. This is your business. You’ve done everything you can to try to grow it,” said Diciccio to the contingent of Uber and Lyft drivers who showed up to protest the tax increase. “This is just the first step of many that are going to try to take away your business. You will be told constantly that this is being done for the best interest. It’s not being done for the best interest. It’s a money grab – because that’s what the government does.
“You’re going to need to fight it. You’re going to need to do everything you can to stop this,” DiCiccio told the drivers.
DiCiccio then addressed company representatives, “Unless you work together with your drivers, and protect your drivers…and defend them, the work they are doing, then you guys might as well hang it up. If you don’t, you’re going to be run over multiple times.”
“Someone rushing to get to the airport doesn’t have time to wait to for three buses and the light rail to get them to the Sky Train, and lots of people can’t afford to park at the airport – especially after we also gave the Airport carte blanche to raise parking rates today as well,” DiCiccio explained the ramification for ride share users. “Politicians can claim they are doing this for the “little guy, but it’s the very people they claim to be protecting you will be hurt by these tax increases.”
The code changes passed also increase the fine for leaving a vehicle at the Airport curb to the maximum allowable under Arizona law. The new penalty for an unattended vehicle is now $250 plus a $500 public nuisance penalty.
The Council also provided for a 40% green discount for commercial ground transportation providers using zero emission vehicles and confirmed no changes to employee parking rates and programs at the airport. The changes do not increase the parking rates at Sky Harbor.