Uber, Lyft fees to soar at Anchorage airport


(2-minute read) COMMENT PERIOD ENDS JAN 31

Independent ride-sharing drivers may have to charge their riders $2.50 more to be picked up and dropped off at the Anchorage and Fairbanks international airports.

The $5 roundtrip fee the State seeks to charge riders who ride in an Uber or Lyft to the airport, rather than a cab, is the subject of a comment period that ends on Jan. 31 at 4:30 pm.

Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs as they are called, don’t pay a fee to drive people to and from the airports. They were only approved to operate in Alaska in 2017 after passage of a bill sponsored by Sen. Mia Costello and Rep. Adam Wool.

But cab companies pay $75 per year in Anchorage and $150 a year in Fairbanks, per cab. Limos in Anchorage pay $150 a year to access the airport.


Uber and Lyft are two TNCs that operate in Anchorage.

In 2018, about half of the active drivers made 95 percent of the trips to the airport. Those trips averaged out to 187 trips per driver. A $2.50 fee for those drivers would mean $467 a year in fees, meaning that Uber and Lyft users would pay more than four times the fees that cabs are paying — and passing along to their customers.

Last year’s TNC driver with the most number of trips to the airport would have paid $4,993 to the Ted Stevens International Airport, if the fee structure applied in 2018.

The public hasn’t heard much about the proposed fees, and information on it is buried in the State of Alaska website.

Sending in a public comment on it will require some effort, as there is no email address provided by the State to submit messages electronically. You’ll need to do it the old-fashioned way by writing to:

Keith Day, Controller
Alaska International Airports System
P.O. Box 196960
Anchorage, AK 99519-6960

Comments may also be hand-delivered to Room C-3588, South Terminal, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport during business hours.


  1. No email address for submitting comments to DOT? What year is this again? It’s almost like they don’t want to hear from Alaskans!

  2. The notice says they “intend to implement”! Sounds like a done deal. Also, “Mobility Service Providers” are affected. A one month posting with a mail-in ability to comment. So, you can hand deliver to the South Terminal, Room C-3588 too. Does anyone know where that is? If you hustle, maybe you can get out before you have to pay for parking too. Pretty lame. Hey everyone, the cost of your ride just went up. Thanks for the notice Suzanne!
    Notice is given that the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), under authority vested by AS 02.15.020 and Title 17 AAC 42.125, INTENDS TO IMPLEMENT rates and fees for Transportation Network Company (aka Commercial On-Demand Ride Services, Network Transportation Services, Ridesourcing, Mobility Service Providers, Ride Share Operations, etc.) activity conducted under required permits at the Alaska International Airports System (AIAS), consisting of the Ted Stevens Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports, respectively (ANC) and (FAI)*. The proposed rates will become effective February 1, 2019.

  3. Keith Day is listed in the SOA as an employee. Contact info follows. Cheers –

    Day, Keith
    International Airports Controller Transportation & Public Facilities
    IAD-International Airport Systems Office
    [email protected]
    PO Box 196900
    Anchorage, AK 99519-6900

    • Monday morning fun with the in-box! The new DOT commish might need a suggestion on including a generic comment email address with their public notices. Public comment on regulation change notices are much more stringent.

  4. Why not charge everyone the same amount, why not charge the cabs $2.50 per ride just like Uber and Lyft? This reeks, more crony capitalism. It’s really easy for people to view this as more evidence of rampant corruption in Alaska.

  5. Total regulatory capture by the corrupt cab companies. I’m ashamed for the public officials who would pander to them like this. We’ll remember this in November.

  6. The cab companies were out of hand back in the early part of this century. Cabbies would refuse to even take calls from places they felt would be low fares. If you called for a cab from a supermarket you could wait for hours. Cabbies assumed that you walked a short distance to the store and needed a lift for a only few blocks. (I noticed a drastic reduction in waiting if you walked to a nearby church or business office and requested a cab from there.)
    We saw some violence in cabs and we required that they all install dashcams.
    After 9/11 we made cabs authorized for pickup at the airport to jump through scads of paperwork and fees.

    I’ve witnessed a drastic improvement in cab service by 2011.
    Each time the assembly considered adding more cab permits the debate would go on for days.
    Allowing ride share companies to compete against licensed cab services is like suddenly allowing average citizens to compete against commercial fisherman. Got a boat? Go catch and sell all the fish you want. Who is the greatest benefactor of such policies? The big dot com. I’ve talked to several people who have pulled out of providing Uber service because the fees going to Uber left them with below minimum wage profits.
    We should want local oversight of our public transportation. If a local cab company is found negligent, you may get satisfaction in court. Try facing off against the Uber lawyers, it’ll be a decade before they let the issue reach the courts.

    • If the licensed cabs provide superior service, then competing with “amateurs” should be no problem for them. If they are statistically safer, same thing. This is regulatory capture by an industry which views their cab licenses as inherited titles.

      I’d fix it in two ways, end the limit on cab licenses and make them “shall issue” for anyone who can afford them (cost to be set by the actual cost of processing licenses and doing inspections, not as a profit center) after meeting objectively rational (not “designed by the existing cab industry,” but voted on by representatives responsible to the public with full disclosure of costs and the science behind each regulation) minimum standards of safety and insurance. The market will clear out those who can’t compete.

      Also, make it so only owner-operators can have licenses, no more leasing or reselling. A license goes to an individual, if they stop driving, it goes back to the issuing authority. End the “grey market” in privately selling or “renting” use of a publicly-owned item. This latter one should apply to commercial fishing licenses as well. One actual living owner/operator, one license for their working lifetime. Want your kids to follow you, they can apply for a license just like you did.

      • I saw someone in passing just today who previously claimed that she bought a taxi permit in fairly recent times for $150K and sold it for $75K. If that’s true, that gravy train is long gone. Around the same time I heard that story, which was about nine months ago, a driver told me his owner, which is Anchorage’s largest taxicab operator, drastically lowered its nighttime lease rate. So I would say that the competition has had an effect. It’s been many years since I’ve been to Juneau, but they had a “certificate of need” system which appeared to adequately address supply and demand. Fairbanks has a similar open-entry system, but the owners charge more to lease their cabs than they do in Anchorage, and things were getting dicey for drivers long before Uber and Lyft came along. To address Steve’s point, many years ago, I called for a cab from Fred Meyer on Muldoon to go down DeBarr to Costco. The cab never showed up. I made some phone calls and discovered that the original driver who was dispatched was sitting at home off of E. 16th and Muldoon when he received the call, then quickly blew me off when a call came up to unlock someone’s vehicle at the Northway Mall. If he hadn’t been so greedy and the dispatch was more on the ball, he could have had both fares and not left me hanging.

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