Uber Allowed to do Business at National and Dulles: $4 dispatch fee tacked onto every ride — both pickups and drop-offs

by Sean Riley

WAMU.org and CityPaper

The agency that runs Reagan National and Dulles airports has finally come up with a solution for Uber and other ride-hailing apps: designated waiting areas for ride-hail drivers.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today approved regulations governing the legal operation of transportation-network companies like Uber and Lyft at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, effective Nov. 1, 2015. The regulations allow TNCs to pick up and drop off customers at designated waiting areas at terminals, provided that the companies pay a one-time permit fee of $5,000 and that drivers pay a $4 access fee per trip. The waiting areas near the terminals.

The $4 dispatch fee will be tacked onto every ride — both pickups and drop-offs. That fee will be passed onto riders, according to Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett. It's also higher than the fee taxis pay.

"Because people are pleased with what they are getting, I prefer that there be no drastic changes," says Margaret McKeough, the airports' chief operating officer. She says the $4 fee is necessary.

"All of our commercial operators use resources of the airports, the roadway system," McKeough says. "In this case, we are also providing a staging lot and other infrastructure support for the operation."

Uber released a statement, saying "it's unfortunate that National and Dulles airports will now have some of the highest fees for Uber rides in the nation."