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CHAPTER 5 Ground Transportation Agreements Ground transportation, a substantial customer service component for airports, involves the coordination of baggage delivery services, chartered transportation, courier services, courtesy vehicles, shuttles, taxicabs, and public transportation. 5.1 Trends in Ground Transportation Agreements Trends in ground transportation agreements are as follows: Management of ground transportation Technology advances Compliance with local regulations Taxicabs--open or closed systems Airport access fees Rules for solicitation Public transportation agreements Forms of ground transportation agreements 5.1.1 Management of Ground Transportation Historically, airports have included the management of ground transportation with parking. Best-practice airports have split the management function and assigned the ground transportation responsibilities to separate staff or contract with a third-party management company to provide coordination. 5.1.2 Technology Advances Installation of automated vehicle identifications (AVI) systems has significantly improved the ability of airports to manage the ground transportation flow and capture the associated revenues due the airport. As airports install AVI systems, airports may consider contracting the management and operation of the system as well as overall ground transportation coordination to a third-party contractor. 5.1.3 Compliance with Local Regulations The requirements and contractual issues for each component of ground transportation must comply with local regulations and ordinances, particularly with regard to taxicabs, limousines, and public transportation. Often local ordinances govern where and how passengers can be picked up and dropped off and may also dictate the fares that can charged. 44

OCR for page 44
Ground Transportation Agreements 45 5.1.4 Taxicabs--Open or Closed System Taxicabs may operate under an open system where any legitimate taxicab operator can pick up a fare at the airport. Under a closed system, the airport restricts the entities that can pick up pas- sengers from the airport. Large urban areas such as New York and Chicago have medallion systems that taxicab owners purchase and lease to the taxicab drivers. The medallion fees have a significant economic impact on the operating costs for taxicab drivers as well as controlling the availability of taxicabs in a locale. Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD) is an example of an airport having a closed taxi system because of the long distance between IAD and downtown Washington, D.C. As a result, the Washington Flyer has exclusive rights to pick up fares at IAD. The airport takes the position that the distance from downtown would be an economic deterrent to keeping the nec- essary supply of taxicabs at IAD under an open system. 5.1.5 Airport Access Fees Airport access for ground transportation providers most often requires a permit for a specified fee. Airports may set forth requirements and applications for permits in contractual agreements or through local ordinances. Designated areas for passenger pick-up and drop-off should be assigned and properly identified with signage. For larger airports, commercial vehicle staging areas may be utilized. 5.1.6 Rules for Solicitation Airports may create rules for solicitation of passengers and/or have designated agents or points of contact to arrange ground transportation. Typically, ground transportation pro- viders have representation in centralized areas inside and outside of terminal areas. Appro- priate wayfinding is critical to direct passengers to the appropriate ground transportation provider. 5.1.7 Public Transportation Agreements Public transportation may require a contractual agreement between the airport and the pub- lic transportation agency. These agreements may arise from extensions of public transportation routes to the airport property, construction of multimodal facilities/shelters/transit stations, extension of service hours and transport of airport employees. The agreement may involve pay- ment of compensation from one party such as the airport to/from the public transportation agency. 5.1.8 Forms of Ground Transportation Agreements For the purposes of this chapter, the terms "contract" and "agreement" may refer to actual contract instruments, but in many cases will refer to "permits," which are the preferred method of regulating ground transportation providers. These permits are much easier to put in place with a group of operators that come and go frequently and, even more frequently, add and remove vehicles from their fleets. The permits will typically refer to a much more comprehen- sive set of rules and regulations that govern ground transportation functions. References to lan- guage for contracts might instead be in a rules and regulations document; for this chapter, however, the discussion of contract language may refer to either a contract or rules/regulations document.