Uber and Lyft users in Houston to see higher fees for airport rides

HOUSTON, Texas -- Uber and Lyft users will see higher fees for rides to and from Houston's airports.

Previously, riders were charged a $2.75 fee for pickups at George Bush International Airport and $1.25 at Hobby Airport. There were no fees for drop-offs.

The pickup and drop off fees increased to $3 each at IAH immediately and will increase to $2.75 each at Hobby after repaving and other improvements to the ride sharing waiting area are completed.

The new regulations will allow for more leeway in how drivers transport passengers by allowing them to drive toward pickup and drop-off areas in anticipation of a ride request rather than being required to wait in the airports' designated staging areas first.

Houston City Council approved the measure July 23 with one dissenting vote from Council Member Tiffany Thomas.

"I have resistance to passing fees down to consumers at this time," Thomas said.

Compared to other cities in Texas, Houston's increased fees match those in Dallas-Fort Worth and are slightly higher than those at Austin and San Antonio, according to a presentation given to the council's economic development committee.

The added fees are expected to generate $11.8 million in fiscal year 2020-21 and just under $60 million over the next five years for the Houston Airport System.

The agreement comes alongside a broader effort by the city to divest from the taxicab industry. In 2018, 897 taxicab operators in Houston failed to pay permit fees, leaving $983,000 left uncollected by the city, according to Houston Administration and Regulatory Affairs.

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