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NFTA will charge fee for airport rides using Uber, Lyft

Grabbing an Uber or a Lyft to or from Buffalo Niagara International Airport will cost riders a little more than just the regular cost of the trip.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will charge $3.50 for each pickup or drop-off, a cost that will be passed on to riders.

The fees, which go into effect when ride-hailing becomes legal in upstate New York on June 29, were approved Thursday by the authority's Board of Commissioners. The fees apply to ride-hailing services when the trip starts or ends at the Buffalo airport or Niagara Falls International Airport.

Other airports across the country have enacted similar fees for ride-hailing services.

The fees will automatically be included in the fare calculations within the services' apps, the NFTA said.

Here's how NFTA officials described the purpose of the fee, which will be part of a "pilot program" in effect for a year: "The fee is imposed to develop revenue for support of the airport system, preserve revenue and to compensate the NFTA for its operational costs (repair and wear and tear on the roads, maintenance, plowing, etc.) resulting from the usage of [Transportation Network Companies] driver vehicles on airport property."

The NFTA will also charge ride-hailing companies a $5,000 "permit fee."

The authority also agreed to pay an airport organization 5 percent of its revenues from the new fees for a system to track, monitor and invoice the ride-hailing companies.

The American Association of Airport Executives will provide its ABT Management System under a one-year deal.

Ride-hailing will be legal June 29. Here are New York's rules.

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