Airport fees could save money for taxi firm

A proposed fee schedule for ground transportation at Grand Junction Regional Airport could actually reduce costs for Sunshine Taxi, the owner said.

The airport is considering a fee schedule under which taxis, shuttles and others would pay to pick up passengers at the airport.

Right now, “We pay 11 percent for all trips out of the airport,” said Kelly Milan, owner and general manager of Sunshine Taxi.

“I think the new fee schedule actually costs us less instead of more, so that’s good.”

The proposed fee schedule calls for trip fees of $2.50 for vehicles carrying one to eight passengers; $3.75 for nine to 15 riders and $8 for 16 or more passengers.

The fee generates about $24,000 a year for the airport.

Airport Authority board member Troy Ball earlier this month told the board that the airport board was overreaching with the fee schedule and proposed conduct and appearance requirements for providers to operate at the airport.

Ball said he would not vote on the matter because he also is an Uber driver who occasionally picks up fares at the airport.

“It’s not uncommon to see codes of conduct and this is a gateway to our community, but having it stipulated in a contract?” Milan said. “I don’t know. The theory is the market will take care of itself.”

A code, however, might allow the airport to deal with the “worst of the worst,” he said.

In the last three years, Sunshine Taxi has seen growth of almost 600 percent, Milan said, adding, “It’s nice to see a bright spot in the economy.”


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