The rise in the use of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber has prompted Hollywood Burbank Airport officials to take proactive measures.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted 7-0 on Monday to increase the fee it charges transportation-network companies for every passenger pick-up or drop-off they make at the airport from $3 to $3.50.
Commissioners Zareh Sinanyan and Terry Tornek were absent from the authority’s meeting.
Scott Kimball, director of operations, business, development and safety for Hollywood Burbank, said a slight increase is necessary for safety and maintenance reasons.
The 50-cent increase is projected to generate a little more than $500,000 annually, which would go toward the hiring an employee to oversee and supervise the activity of ride-share drivers in the designated drop-off and pick-up areas at the airport.
Ride-sharing drivers can drop off passengers at the curb in front of either Terminals A or B, while pick-ups can only be done at a concrete island in front of Terminal B.
Hollywood Burbank experimented with having all ride-sharing activity done in the airport’s parking structure, but that plan resulted in heavy congestion on the first floor of the facility.
Moving the ride-sharing operations to the area just in front of Terminal B has alleviated congestion problems in the parking structure, but traffic outside the terminal, especially during the airport’s busy periods, is steadily on the rise.
The fee increase would also help pay for the maintenance of the curbside area where pick-ups and drop-offs are made, Kimball said.
Ride-sharing companies are charged the fee every time a driver crosses through an established geofence around the airport.
Like many other airports, ride-sharing activity has increased significantly over the past few years at Hollywood Burbank. There were 1,016,243 pick-ups and drop-offs made in 2018 — 268,379 more than in 2017.
Airport officials also announced on Monday the ride-sharing activity numbers for January, which was 88,102 drop-offs and pick-ups, an increase of 19,093 compared to the same month in 2018.
Compared to other airports in the region, Hollywood Burbank falls into the middle of the pack. Los Angeles International Airport charges ride-sharing companies $4 for each pick-up and drop-off, whereas Long Beach and John Wayne airports charge $3.
Kimball added that Ontario International Airport is in the process of hiking its fee to $4.