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Analysis & News on the Future of Public Finance

CSG: Ridesharing Continues to Grow at Airports

HTNB is an infrastructure advisory firm which recently released a survey of how airline get passengers get to and from airports. The findings highlight trends which, if they continue, will impact airport and related credits. The HNTB survey found that while the use of ride-sharing services is relatively low compared to other available alternatives, it is increasing. Almost four in 10 (37%) responding air travelers have used ride sharing to get to and from airports. Among this group, 42% have used it within the past year, a notable increase of three times versus 14% in the past one to three years. 

HTNB identified one element which is increasingly troubling to analysts of these credits. “This rapidly growing inclination to use ride-sharing services for travel to and from airports is important on many levels, including the potential of increased vehicular congestion at airports as well as impacts it will have for traditional airport revenue sources. One direct revenue example could result from people who use ride-sharing instead of driving themselves and no longer needing parking on-site at airports.”

In addition to a negative impact on the contributions of parking revenue to general airport revenue bond support, a decrease in demand for rental cars would negatively impact debt backed by revenues derived from stand-alone rental car facilities.

As we wrote recently, more airports are considering user fees for ridesharing companies. The Tampa International Airport (TIA) has begun collecting a per-trip fee on commercial ground transportation vehicles to be phased in over a three-year period. The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority voted to implement the new fee structure starting last August for transportation network companies (TNCs) — such as Uber and Lyft — through the approval of their use and permit agreements. All other ground transportation vehicles such as taxis, limousines and hotel courtesy buses began the new fee structure in February 2018, when a new tracking technology became available.