Cruise passengers could have to pay higher ride share fee

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The highest ride share fee in the state could soon be coming to Galveston cruise passengers.

Recently, the Port of Galveston board approved a proposal to request ride share companies to charge passengers a fee for pick-up and drop-offs. An added expense some passengers aren't thrilled with.

"It doesn't sound real fair to me," cruise passenger, Jason Hendrick said. "It's already expensive as it is. It's just another way to nickel and dime you."

The fee would require anyone requesting a ride share, or getting dropped-off near the cruise terminal to pay an extra $4.

"Not real thrilled to hear about it, but I understand," cruise passenger, Jake Norman said. "It's sometimes hard to argue against it. They're going to do what they have to do."

The proposed fee would impact ride share companies, including Uber and Lyft. Uber said it was negotiating a contract with the port and discussing the fee.

The company said it's disappointed the board approved a $4 fee.

"It would be our hope to work with the port to get this fee down because I do think it's out of line with similar sized ports and airports and definitely the highest in the state," Uber's director of public policy Trevor Theunissen said.

The other problem Uber has with the proposal is that the fee would be charged in areas inside and out of the terminal.

This means, even if you aren't cruising, you'd still be hit with the fee if you use a ride share near the port.

Uber also said the proposal doesn't give riders any perks with the increased fare. "They're not providing a staging lot," Theunissen explained. "They're not providing a pick-up and drop-off experience. There's nothing new that riders will get from this."

The company said all major airports in Texas charge a fee, but it's not close to $4.

Uber said if approved, Galveston cruise customers would see the fee charged by the port on their receipt. An added expense some passengers said would make them think twice about using a ride share to cruise.

The Port of Galveston isn't sure when the new fee would go into effect.

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