In the United States, many private airport parking companies also use the Internet to allow prospective customers to reserve and pre-pay for parking. Parking Operational Enhancements Many airports have implemented operational measures that reduce operating costs while enhancing customer service. The parking system automatically calculates the fee owed, charges the fee to the patrons credit card, and, if requested, prints a receipt. The patron need not sign a credit card slip. These guidance systems result in better utilization of the available spaces as they direct patrons to empty spaces, rather than requiring patrons to conduct random searches across large floors or garages.
Additional airports are in the process of establishing such fees. The amount of the potential additional revenue varies depending on the extent of the off-airport parking business, the parking rates charged by these businesses, and the amount of the privilege fee established by the airport.
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Similar to past court decisions concerning rental car fees, fed- eral and state courts have repeatedly upheld the right of an air- port operator to establish off-airport parking privilege fees and require the payment of such fees. Rev- enues from rental cars companies can include one or more of the following. The minimum annual guarantee may be bid for the first year of the agreement and then adjusted by an agreed- upon formula or it may be specified in the bid for every year of the agreement.
Terminal Rentals Rental car companies typically lease ticket counters and some- times office space in terminals, and pay rent to the airport operator. This rent may be determined based on the appraised value of the land or by some other method. Customer Facility Charge or Transportation Fee At some airports, each rental car concessionaire collects a CFC or transportation fee from its customers at the airport.
CFCs are typically used to pay all or a portion of the oper- ating and capital costs of a consolidated rental car area or structured facility, and may include the cost of transportation to the terminals. CFCs may be assessed on a per-transaction basis i. CFC revenues may be used on a stand-alone basis to leverage bonds or may be used together with other airport revenues to support double-barrel bonds. Unlike PFC rev- enues, there is no requirement for any federal oversight or approval of the CFC or transportation fees.
Because rental car companies cannot decide among them- selves to charge a CFC or transportation fee, the airport operator has a great degree of discretion in setting and charging the fees. Today, airport shoppers are recognized as a lucra- tive market and airport retailing is evolving to meet that mar- ket. With considerable effort directed toward devel- oping some of the best food, beverage, and retail offers any- where, concession partnerships are turning airport terminals into places that effectively serve the dining and shopping needs of millions of customers.
Reinventing Terminal Concessions Programs Developing a concessions program that goes beyond indus- try standards requires thoughtful planning, a strong cus- tomer orientation, and hard work. Each airport has a unique, distinctive set of passenger markets, all of which use the air- port differently, and have varying spending motivations and characteristics.
Today, airport operators are recognizing the need to embrace the latest trends and idea management in the indus- try. These include understanding the customer, anticipating what they want to buy, creating a shopping environment, moti- vating shopping behavior, and finally making it easy to buy. New trends and innovations such as upscale dining, high- technology newsstands, and creative specialty retail offerings are common amenities of the modern airport. Independent passenger surveys have shown that airport retail programs are one of the key determinants of passenger satisfaction with an airport.
At the same time, passengers are becoming more dis- criminating in their choices of food, beverages, and retail offerings at airports. Innovative design can help motivate potential customers. Success- ful design and retail plans are creative and innovative to attract upscale, branded merchandise as well as food and beverage outlets in terms of revenues and service. The entrance should be open, well-merchandised, uncluttered, and provide enough room for shoppers to enter and begin browsing immediately. Long-haul flights on airlines that provide minimal food service often moti- vate passengers to purchase food before their flight.
Also, one-of-a-kind restaurant concepts that celebrate icons, landmarks, and the cuisine from the surrounding region are a growing trend designed to enhance the travel experience. Paul and Portland International airports are good examples of this. Airports and their retailers have a much better chance of generating a sale if they are selling something that the customer really wants to buy.
Travelers from different countries have different pur- chasing profiles, dependent on both the availability of specific brands and styles in their respective homelands, and any price differentials that might exist. National companies with branded products can partner with local retailers to provide a complement of brand name and local owner- ship see Figure As the impor- tance of percentage rent continues to decline, airports as landlords are now using other methods to increase value from tenants when renewing or releasing space.
Because airport concessions contracts are bid competitively, operators often bid more than what they can afford to get the con- tract. Therefore, airport operators may want to consider setting a reasonable minimum annual guarantee, using a percentage for the first year and then reevaluating annu- ally based on enplanements. With longer dwell times, airport customers can now take the time to read advertisements. Modern airport advertising programs specialize in the sales and maintenance of advertising sites at airports.
Table 1 shows the revenues generated by advertising for a cross section of U. The range of media described here are just some innovative and creative approaches to advertising seen at airports today. Optimize Technologies Technological innovations also offer opportunities for airport revenue enhancements. Most systems include a directory of area hotels, car rentals, restaurants, and shopping, as well as area maps.
Some listings are even linked to a floor plan showing the current location as well as a guide to their desired destination. Also available are real-time flight information dis- plays, including arrival and departure status and gate information. Information can be viewed interactively with a touch-screen interface. The touch-screens kiosks require less space and provide tremendous customer ser- vices as well as another revenue opportunity. Under some agreements, the airport receives a percentage of the user fees e.
However, this needs to be nonintrusive and must avoid pop-ups. The cost- effective kiosks can be configured to display multi- media images and text messages offering a tremendous revenue potential. Sponsorship Opportunities In the last decade, sponsorship programs have moved to the forefront of advertising programs and emerged as a specific business discipline, capturing the attention of the media and the corporate world as it provides organizations with the ability to cut through the clutter of traditional advertising and exhibition.
Effective sponsorship that balances the ties between brand and product marketing and is done well fits ideally with overall marketing objectives. The benefit of sponsorship programs is that they help defray the cost of the terminal while providing a valuable customer amenity. It is feasible to have multiple sponsors for a single location or have a sponsored meeting point. Maximize Exposure Opportunities also exist for nontraditional locations for air- port advertising. Advertising with banners, moving walkways and escalators, and even websites are cost-effective ways to generate additional revenue.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, advertising has been placed on unpaved airfield land to maximize advertising revenues Figure This can be achieved through adopting policies and practices that can unlock the considerable potential that exists within many airports to fully develop and exploit commercial activities to increase revenue. The fol- lowing sections will explore some conventional and innova- tive sources to enhance nonairline revenues and help lower airline costs while improving the quality of service and pro- viding a new level of convenience for the passenger.
It also includes some key constraints to revenue development as well as opportunities. Depending on the nature of the airport complex, there can be a variety of other revenue-producing leases from nonairline operations, including manufacturing, warehousing, freight for- warding, and even farming. Commercial Property Development In most instances, simply providing basic services to airlines and passengers is no longer sufficient to ensure the viability of running an airport. Quality, innovation, and new services and products are the key to ensuring survival in the competitive marketplace.
Today, airport operators are compelled to review their roles as mere landlords with a new energy to complement ancillary services. Although most revenue sources are tied to passengers, airports are now finding the need to identify a long-term source of nonairline revenues. This is a valuable tool for the overall strategic business plan- ning for small and large airports alike. The demand land absorption and price for office, retail, and industrial which includes warehouse and distribution property is projected to determine revenue. The planned improvements are developed by phase based on an analysis of areas that can be absorbed by the market over a reasonable amount of time and serviced with improve- ments that can be developed in reasonable cost increments.
The land use plan results in a cost-benefit analysis of prop- erty development. The benefit of revenue generated from office, retail, and industrial land use is calculated by deduct- ing the estimated cost to access and service the property. Roadways, storm drainage, water, sanitary sewer, and franchise util- ities are required for commercial uses of land. Police, fire protection, and maintenance services are required for development. The service plan identifies, evaluates, and recom- mends the most cost-efficient combination of methods to provide access and utility services.
Efficiency is derived from the determination of political, initial investment, operating, and administration costs. The financing plan quantifies and evaluates the costs of funds, including initial start-up costs, interest, guar- antees, and flexibility to change funding methods. The recommended funding method of the financing plan will be compared with the financing strategies and fees charged by neighboring municipalities. The target market of users, disadvantaged business enterprises, and developers should be identified in the plan.
A promo- tion plan is developed using a mix of printed material, the Internet, presentations, mailings, and advertising to reach the target market. They are used to give land for different com- mercial uses a unified and consistent appearance. Large Land Mass Airports are unique facilities in that they tend to occupy large parcels of land, have unique siting requirements, produce. By promoting nonaviation commercial development, an airport can generate additional revenue without increasing the number of aircraft or the level of operations at the airport. The additional revenue could provide an increased level of reserves and funding for both past and future airport needs.
Airport operators should be mindful of long-term compatibility with aviation operations when developing commercial develop- ment plans. A number of airports have developed portions of their air- port properties to accommodate nonaviation commercial enterprises.
The presence of these types of businesses at the airports sur- veyed contributes significantly to their revenues and their abil- ity to build up their reserves and invest in improvements to their facilities. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges The key benefits are improvements to driver income and customer service resulting from the reduced driver wait time. The key challenges are to gain the support of the taxicab com- panies and drivers who are likely to be concerned about any See Chapter 9 for a discussion of technology advancements to aid in operation of this function.
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Such a system is used at Washington Dulles International Airport. A rotation system is an effective way to limit the number of taxicabs that may pick up on-demand passengers at the airport on a given day, thereby reduc- ing driver wait times in the hold lot. Detailed information regarding rotation systems is included in the next section. Another solution to long waits by taxicab drivers at the airport is to severely limit, or not expand, the size of the airport taxicab hold lot and to encour- age taxicab companies to set up their own nearby holding and sequencing scheme to allow their taxicabs to go to the hold lot when there is an empty space.
While this approach solves the issue for the airport, it may not address concerns with the total wait times of drivers and their reduced income opportunities, and thus their lack of cooperation and cus- tomer courtesy on short haul trips from the airport. When a significantly smaller taxicab hold lot was introduced at one airport, taxicab drivers set up temporary secondary hold- ing areas off the airport property from which to access the airport hold lot. A variant of the program to reduce excessive driver Figure Reader board at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Taxicab Rotation System Description The open airport taxicab rotation system is a process for lim- iting the number of days when authorized taxicabs may pick up on-demand airline passengers. At some airports taxicabs may only pick up customers every third, fourth, or fifth day. The rotation system may also be established by colored permits rather than odd-even numbers, allowing for more than two groups of taxicabs. Purpose Such a system reduces the number of taxicabs eligible to pick up passengers at the airport on a given day and thus the length of time each taxicab driver must spend waiting for a fare, while allowing the driver to serve the same number of customers and receive the same fares on a monthly or annual basis.
It also allows drivers to serve other portions of the community on the days when they cannot pick up on-demand airport custom- ers, thereby increasing their potential revenues and improving service to the entire community. Applicability Applicable at airports that 1 have a supply of taxicabs which greatly exceeds the demand for on-demand taxicab service as evidenced by drivers waiting excessively long times between fares e. Airport customers are likely to be unaware of any specific steps the airport may take to limit the amount of time taxicab drivers wait in line to pick them up, but they may experience drivers less concerned about short trips and likely with an improved demeanor because they are getting more airport trips on the days or times they are permitted to work at the airport.
Taxicab drivers can be expected to object to any change in their abil- ity to choose when and how often they work at the airport, but objections are quickly overcome when drivers realize that their weekly income is increased due to the new programs implemented by the airport. Local elected officials are likely to be wary of approving new programs if they are not supported by the drivers. Thus, through educa- tion and positive examples, local elected officials should be informed of any proposed modifications well in advance of discussions with airport taxicab drivers.
Even though there are benefits to the taxicab drivers, the airline passengers, the perception of the community towards the quality of taxicab service available at the airport, and to the airport itself in terms of reducing the costs and size of the hold lot area to be maintained and allowing better, more productive use of some of the hold lot property, there may be a lack of cooperation due to past encounters which make it politi- cally difficult to restrict the access of permitted taxicabs in any way.
It thus may take time and further discussion with elected officials before any actions may be taken. Implementation Schedule and Costs The cost associated with reducing taxicab driver wait times depends upon the methods employed. The use of electronic sign boards and assigning each taxicab a number when it enters the hold lot is more complex but still relatively inexpensive compared to utilizing a GTM system to assign taxicabs to the hold lot or developing a virtual hold lot. For these more com- plex systems, the lead time could be as long as a year as they need to be decided upon, budgeted, and constructed.
More information on these systems is included in Chapter 9. Figure Implementation Schedule and Costs Ongoing and initial costs are minimal. The implemen- tation schedule will depend on the extent of cooperation obtained from the taxicab community. The political process of deciding to do so may take months or more but it may take as little as one week to implement. Examples Los Angeles International Airport allows its taxicabs to only serve the airport on-demand line one in every 5 days.
The other 4 days these taxicabs serve a specific area of Los Angeles, as each of the nine franchise taxicab companies that serve the airport has a specific geographic area they serve. The one in 5 days approach severely limits the number of Los Angeles taxicabs that can work the airport that day so that each taxicab may spend 30 or less minutes in the hold lot before being called to a terminal.
Drivers indicate that their day at the airport is by far their best revenue day and a privilege they do not want to lose. As a result, compliance with airport taxicab dispatch and air- port regulations is not an issue, including problems with short trip refusals since drivers know they will be back in the air- port pickup line in a matter of minutes. If additional taxicabs are needed, a call is sent out to the dispatch operations of the nine franchise taxicab companies that the airport is now open to any available taxicab.
The demand is typically met within 15 minutes due to the large number of off-airport-day cab drivers willing to go to the airport when there is a call. Insufficient taxicab service can be a significant problem at smaller airports, in part due to the lack of taxicab service in the community. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges A rotation system reduces taxicab driver wait times and the required hold lot size, while enabling drivers to maintain or potentially increase their number of annual fares and their income.
Airports can benefit as drivers who stay in a hold lot for a short period of time require less oversight and fewer ame- nities and services than do drivers waiting for longer periods. Airport operators may also benefit from the savings in main- tenance costs due to having a smaller hold lot and potentially from new revenues if the excess hold area site is developed for another use.
The key challenge occurs during the initial implementa- tion of a rotation system when overcoming driver resistance to change and concerns about a loss of revenue or income. Customers should not notice any significant change in service. Customer service may improve if drivers, less concerned about excessive waits in the hold area, are less likely to refuse or complain about short trips. Taxicab drivers have been shown to serve approximately the same volume of monthly or annual customers, yet initially drivers may be fearful that their earnings will suffer if the days they can work at the airport are limited.
However, because the distribution of busy weekdays and weekends does not regularly fall on either odd or even days, over the course of a month or year, all drivers have equal opportunities at the airport. Unless they are lobbied by taxicab drivers or company owners, typically local officials have little or no concerns with the implemen- tation of a rotation system and may recognize the benefits.
Should there be an inadequate response to a dispatch call for taxicabs registered and permitted to provide on-demand taxicab service at the airport, airport officials can open the airport hold lot to any properly licensed taxicab. If these taxicabs are registered to only provide prearranged taxicab service at the airport, they typically continue to pay a pickup fee even though they are now serving on-demand customers.
If they are not permit- ted to provide prearranged service, then any airport pickup fees may be forgone in the view that it is better to serve the traveling public than worry about processing these taxicabs and collecting a pickup fee. Tucson International Airport is an example of an airport that uses this process.
In addition to all taxicabs as noted above, airport officials can also invite all limousine oper- ators to provide on-demand service. This is easily done where there is a flat fee system for a taxicab to most major destinations, as limousines can be required to charge only that fee for their services. In other instances, airports allow limousines to charge their standard fares.
Requir- ing a minimum number of taxicab trips per month from each taxicab forces the drivers to work at the airport at times when they might otherwise not be working or be work- ing some other venue. The rationale here is that in order to operate during the busy, high-demand periods at the airport, they also have to work some low-demand periods such as late at night, weekends, or holidays. Some airports require peak period customers to share a taxicab with other airline passengers when there is an unusual event occur- ring in the community. For example, airline passengers at Piedmont Triad International Airport are required to share a taxicab during the annual Furniture Mart which attracts many visitors to the area.
Applicability These programs are applicable at airports that regularly have insufficient taxicabs to accommodate arriving airline passengers. Excess demands may occur at large airports e. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges The key benefits to the above programs are the reduced customer wait time and improved customer experience.
The key challenges are balancing the demands between licensed This section describes the methods that airport staff use to increase the number of taxicabs available. The most common method for an airport to secure additional taxicabs quickly is for airport staff or their representatives to call taxicab company dispatchers and let them know that additional taxicabs are needed and that the wait time will be minimal if they come to the airport immediately.
In many cases this is sufficient because airport taxicab drivers 1 normally prefer to accept an airport trip rather than other lower fare trips in the community, 2 have paid a monthly or annual fee to be at the airport and they want to protect that investment lest the airport operator expand the number of taxicabs it permits at the airport or allow non-registered taxicabs to serve the airport.
Should an airport want to contact taxicab drivers directly this can be done using a Twitter account or other form of social media that would send a text message directly to every taxicab per- mitted to work at the airport who has signed up to follow the Twitter account. This process of using social media to notify other drivers of the need for service at the airport is used at Boston Logan International Airport Figure Drivers could pick up passengers going downtown or to other destinations that represent very good taxicab trips and driver revenue or passengers only going to a nearby hotel or residence.
Not hav- ing a short trip procedure is considered to be a best practice. However, given the resistance by taxicab drivers to waiting in the hold lot for extended periods and then only getting a short trip, some airports with open access systems have devel- oped procedures to address this issue. These procedures are discussed herein. Purpose The purpose of short trip procedures is to encourage drivers to accept short trips by reducing their wait time for the next customer upon their return to the airport.
There are several procedures that airports have employed to solve this issue such as time, distance, or special short trip lanes only. Other options increase the compensation drivers receive for short trips, thereby reducing short trip refusals. Time procedures typically permit the taxicab driver a certain number of minutes to complete the short trip and return to the hold lot. A mechanical time procedure would involve the taxicab curbside dispatcher providing the driver with a time-stamped ticket indicating when the taxicab left the curb. With the use of electronic GTM systems, it is possible that this procedure can be managed by a computer that reads the taxicab RFID tag upon leaving the airport and then reads it again as the driver checks back into the taxicab hold lot.
If the taxicab qualifies for the short trip exemption, it can be placed ahead in the taxicab line via the computer in assign- ing waiting numbers to the taxicabs or be permitted to go directly to the airport curb. The shortcomings of using travel time for a procedure to eliminate the issues associated with short trips is that taxi- cab drivers may speed excessively in both directions if they feel their time will be close to the limit i. There is also the issue of airport traffic which may impede the taxicab driver from making it back to the taxicab hold lot in a rea- sonable amount of time.
Conversely, during late night hours when there is less roadway congestion, a taxicab driver may taxicab companies that may be alerted to the need for addi- tional taxicabs so as not to show favoritism, and to limousines or non-licensed taxicabs. Airport taxicab customers may not realize that steps were taken to reduce their wait time and to ensure there was no shortage of waiting taxicabs.
Customers may dislike or not understand the reasons for having to share a taxicab, therefore, starters should ensure customers are willing to share and explain that the unusually high vol- ume of customers will result in long wait times otherwise. In an open access system drivers will not be in favor of attempts by the airport to, in their view, give away their business to others. These objec- tions are not typically serious or long lasting. The drivers will likely object to being required to work a minimum number of trips and during low-demand hours. Most elected officials recognize the need to provide the arriving airport passenger with on-demand taxicab service at all times of the day or night and are typically in favor of the airport doing what it must to ensure that taxicabs are available.
Implementation time can be as short as 30 days or less to develop and deploy these plans. Examples Examples of airport taxicab customer wait time reduction systems used in open access airports are referenced in the previous paragraphs.
Short Trip Procedures Description Short trip procedures are actions airport officials may take to reduce the negative attitude or refusals some taxicab drivers exhibit when they learn that their passenger is only going a short distance and thus 1 their fare will be considerably less than other pickups from the airport, and 2 they may have another long wait after returning to the airport.
These airport short haul taxicabs are painted blue and are known as the blue line taxicabs. While all Miami-Dade County taxicabs can serve Miami International Airport, only a small number are chosen to serve the short trips. As a result, the taxicabs in the short line procedure, due to the limited number, make substan- tially more trips per day than regular line taxicabs, so total revenue for blue cabs is significantly greater than taxicabs in the regular line. Thus, there is a waiting list to become a blue taxicab at Miami International Airport.
Should the blue line of taxicabs become exhausted, reg- ular taxicabs can take these trips and return to the starter head-of-line privileges to minimize their wait time for another pickup. Another method for addressing the short trip issue is to put in place a minimum taxicab fare from the airport, eliminating some of the negative impact of the short trip.
By having the minimum fare, the taxicab driver will be guaranteed a minimal sum for taking the short trip. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges The key benefits are improved customer service result- ing from drivers being less likely to refuse a short trip. The key challenges are the time and costs of establishing these be able to go downtown, drop off their customer, and return to the airport with the allotted time. This was the case in the past when San Francisco International Airport had time- based short trips.
In order to overcome the safety and customer complaint issues associated with white knuckle trips, air- port officials may employ a distance based methodology. In this procedure, all trips taken within a pre-defined geo- graphic distance of the airport or to certain communities are considered short trips.
Traditionally, using distance required more inter- action between the taxicab curbside dispatcher, the passen- ger, and the driver. The taxicab curbside dispatcher must ask the customer where they are going, determine if the destination is within the boundaries of the defined short trip, and then give the driver a ticket or some other item to signify that this was a short trip.
Implementation problems arise when either the driver or the curbside dispatcher do not know if the address is within the short trip boundaries or if there is disagree- ment between the driver and the curbside dispatcher as to whether the destination falls within the definition of a short trip.
This may take considerable time to deal with, resulting in poor service for the customers who are waiting in the taxicab pickup line. There is also the potential of favoritism or bribes between the curbside dispatcher and taxicab driver. The ability to return to the front of the hold lot line is valuable to the taxi- cab driver and some drivers may be tempted to share their revenue from an increased number of trips with friendly taxicab curbside dispatchers, or perceive that other drivers are being allowed to do so.
To ensure this is not happen- ing, it may be necessary to keep records of who is receiving short trip tickets and see if there is a statistically improbable likelihood that a driver or certain drivers are receiving an inordinate number of short trips. The need for the interaction between the curbside dis- patcher, passenger, and driver to determine short trip des- tinations can be eliminated by implementing an electronic GPS-based boundary that defines the limits of a short trip. When the vehicle returns to the hold lot, the system auto- matically detects whether the vehicle stayed within the short trip boundary and is thus eligible for priority dis- patching.
A system containing this feature is being installed at San Francisco International Airport. A short trip procedure that requires neither time nor distance is a dedicated short trip line such as that of Miami International Airport, referred to as the blue line Figure A special line of taxicabs are designated short trip cabs only. A blue line taxicab at Miami International Airport. Their primary station is at the taxicab pickup curb where their primary duty is to direct passengers to their assigned taxi; call for more taxicabs or special taxicabs such as large vans or wheelchair accessible vehicles when they are needed; assist taxicab passengers with information and lug- gage; and ensure the proper sequencing of taxicabs prevent line jumping.
Secondary duties include managing the taxicab hold lot and authorizing taxicabs to proceed to the terminal curbside s. Purpose The purpose of the taxicab starter is to facilitate the on- demand pickup of taxicab customers in an expedited manner and to ensure all taxicab drivers follow the airport rules and regulations regarding the pickup of passengers and use of air- port facilities.
This section discusses who provides the taxicab starter services, their training, and how the procedures used vary from airport to airport. Airport officials have two basic options for performing dis- patcher duties under an open taxicab system.
They can either manage the function themselves using airport personnel or they can engage the services of a third-party contractor or service company. In an exclusive airport system, an airport may have the opportunity to have the taxicab concessionaire perform these tasks. Use airport staff. The majority of the airports with open access taxicab systems use airport staff to dispatch taxi- cabs. Airport staff are tasked with maintaining order on the airport curb as customers queue for taxicabs.
They typically are responsible for assigning passengers to a taxicab or assisting the passenger with special needs or with finding their prearranged taxicab if one has been requested. The benefits associated with the use of airport personnel are greater control over the day-to- day operations of on-demand taxicab operations. The use of airport staff with normal public employment overhead and procedures, none of which are perfect and all of which are subject to abuse e.
Airport customers may be hesitant to provide taxicab curbside dispatchers with their intended destinations such as their personal residence address and may receive poor service through unsafe speeds, credit card refusal, or rushed help with baggage if a taxicab driver is attempting to beat a short trip time and return to the airport. Therefore, airport officials may wish to adopt short trip procedures which are the least noticeable by customers.
Airport taxicab drivers in an open access system often wait several hours for a trip. At airports with longer wait times, the need for some proce- dure to address the impact of the short trip becomes more of an issue. Local elected officials are often the source of pressure to do something about the airport short trip problem. This may come from customer complaints or the drivers who complain about their lost revenue due to short trips.
Implementation Schedule and Costs Short trip procedures are not costly to install if the airport already has a taxicab starter system operating at the curb. Some hardware in the form of a time clock, time stamps, or other method of recording time may be necessary but these costs are minimal. The time to implement these procedures, however, may differ widely. Establishing a minimum fare from the airport will typically take political backing by both city and airport officials. Thus, drafting an ordinance change, bring- ing it to a vote, and implementing the new procedures may take several months.
Thus, a reasonable time for implementa- tion of any of these recommended procedures is between 3 to 6 months. Overseeing the operation of the program, once implemented, and attempting to control drivers who may be abusing the regulations may require significant staff time. Technology based GTM sys- tems have proven to be successful in addressing the favoritism issue by automating the dispatch decision process.
Applicability This section is applicable to any airport employing a dis- patcher to control the flow of taxicabs from a waiting area to a passenger pickup area and assign customers to the next waiting taxicab Figure Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges Benefits include improved control of waiting taxicabs and the ability to inspect waiting vehicles and drivers.
Challenges include ensuring that dispatch services are provided fairly and in a manner that enhances the customer experience.
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Airport customers will probably not notice professionally run, efficient, and helpful taxicab starter ser- vice, but they will complain about the lack of good service. Any prolonged time at the taxicab stand or unnecessary discussions between the driver and starter may be per- ceived as poorly managed services and will reflect poorly on the airport and community. For the most part airport taxicab drivers appreciate a well-run curbside dispatch system but are generally suspicious of benefits can be costly, however, so to minimize costs other approaches may be sought.
Use a third-party management contractor. Retaining a third-party management contractor to provide taxicab starter tasks, and selecting this company through competitive bids is one method of lowering taxicab starter costs. A third-party contractor may also have experience in developing procedures, methods, and even technology to perform these tasks more efficiently and effectively. Airports using third-party management contractors to provide taxi- cab dispatch service and oversee on-demand taxicab services on a day-to-day basis include those airports serving Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Training programs for dispatchers. Dispatchers also need formal training in customer service and how to interact with customers. Methods to call up special vehicles and special requests. The airport needs to have a detailed process in place for how these requests are to be met. This requires some form of communication between the curbside dispatcher and the hold lot personnel. Typically this is voice communications for special requests, although text messages are also used to request special vehicles.
Some airports such as Las Vegas McCarran International and Reno-Tahoe International Airports have a designated space reserved for special request taxicabs at the curbside. As previously mentioned, the use of statisti- cal tools can be helpful in determining if there is collusion between the taxicab dispatcher and certain taxicab drivers. However in the absence of any data trail such as short line tickets issued to taxicab X, this is difficult. Regular taxicab driver meetings and a suggestion drop box can be employed to enlist the help of other drivers should they feel they are being discriminated against by the dispatcher.
Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges Key benefits include the ability to quickly and efficiently share information with taxicab companies and drivers. Airport customers would likely be unaware of the communications systems used by airport staff to com- municate with the airport taxicab drivers but would appre- ciate the ability of the airport to maintain taxicab services whenever passengers are present. Airport taxicab drivers appreciate the ability to know helpful infor- mation regarding conditions at the airport. Thus, electronic signs and social media usage that keep them informed are both helpful and effective in operating an efficient open access taxicab system.
It is likely that local officials will encourage frequent coordination between airport staff and taxicab companies and drivers but are unlikely to be aware of the communication methods or tools. Implementation Schedule and Costs Implementation costs for most communications systems with airport taxicab drivers should not be significant for most another driver being assigned a better or longer trip. Well- trained and professional taxicab starters can greatly reduce these suspicions by treating every driver with courtesy and dignity, and providing professional, friendly, and courteous service to arriving airline passengers.
Typically there will be little response by local elected or regulated officials unless there is concern of favoritism or discrimination by the air- port taxicab dispatchers. Thus, it is imperative that airport officials maintain a watchful eye on the day-to-day operation of the taxicab pickup line. Examples Examples of airports with best practices are described herein. Processes for Communicating with Drivers Description At airports with an open access airport taxicab system, there is often no single taxicab dispatch office or central tele- phone number which airport staff can use to communicate with all licensed taxicab drivers serving the airport.
Purpose Airport staff may also need to contact taxicab drivers if there will be road closures or other changes in operations due to construction, unusual events, or new policies or regula- tions, in addition to more typical communications for alerting drivers that additional taxicabs are needed to serve the airport addressed in Section A6. Alerts to taxicab drivers that there are an excess of taxicabs in the hold lot can also help airport taxi- cab drivers decide if they should return to the airport or seek customers in other areas of the community.
There are several methods that have proven effective in enabling airport staff to communicate with taxicab drivers and companies. These methods can include the use of smartphones, tablets, and mobile data terminals. Boston Logan International Airport uses social media to communicate quickly with all drivers that follow their Logan Taxi Pool Twitter account. Figure shows sample tweets informing drivers of an airline terminal change and a maintenance event.
The communica- tion tools available through the use of tablets and mobile data terminals are described more fully in Chapter 9. From this basic structure, some airports add other ameni- ties including seating areas, vending machines, food trucks, and internet. Restroom facilities should be well maintained. A food truck can be awarded a concession through a competitive bid process Figure As shown in Figure , drivers have seat- ing areas where they may watch TV, use the internet, or engage in recreational ping pong or other games while waiting for their turn to go to the airport curb.
Reasonable accom- modations have been made by airports by setting aside physi- cal spaces for personal reflection and prayer but not for the benefit or use of any one religion or group. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges These facilities benefit waiting drivers and allow them to pro- vide better levels of service to customers. The key challenges are of the options discussed herein. Automated telephone chain dialing systems are available on most business phone sys- tems as well as mass texting to driver cell phones. The use of electronic changeable message signs in the hold lot or else- where however can cost several thousands of dollars depend- ing on the size and number of signs.
Examples Additional examples are included in Chapter 9. Purpose The purpose of these driver amenities is to, at a minimum, provide restroom facilities for drivers who may wait 2, 3, or 4 hours in the hold lot before they proceed to the pickup curbside. Airport officials may not view taxicab driver facilities as something they should be responsible for in a closed system where it is the responsibility of the successful bidder to provide these facilities as a part of their concession agreement.
These restrooms may vary from temporary structures e. In an open access system, taxicab driver facilities are primarily provided and maintained by the airport operator. This may be a simple concrete block facility that is maintained by the air- Figure A food truck at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Driver Training Programs Description Driver training programs familiarize airport taxicab drivers with the rules and regulations governing the use of airport facilities and its roadways, and customer service.
Purpose The purpose of this training is to ensure that taxicab drivers receive proper training prior to their receiving licenses to operate on-demand taxicabs on the airport and pick up waiting airline passengers. This training may address the use of airport roadways and curbsides, the use of airport hold lots, applicable airport rules and regulations, proper interac- tion with airport staff including payment of any airport fees, and the penalties for not obeying airport rules and regula- tions.
This training may be performed either by airport staff internally or by others externally. Each of these types of training is discussed below. Training for taxicab drivers is developed and conducted by airport staff. Training topics covered during the first 3 days include uniforms, badges, paperwork, airport rules and regulations, and a tour of the air- port.
On the fourth day, drivers are assigned a peer coach with whom they work side-by-side for the next 2 weeks. The peer coach must complete a checklist, and a supervisor checks the associated with the cost of building and maintaining the facili- ties, particularly restrooms and toilets. Taxicab drivers appreciate the availability of the amenities described above. Most elected offi- cials and local regulatory bodies appreciate the hard work and many hours that taxicab drivers endure.
There is the general feeling that in order to have clean, comfortable taxicabs available for passengers, these amenities should be provided. Source: Calgary Airport Authority. Thus, most accept this training as part of their job as an air- port taxicab driver, although they may complain about the cost and time associated with attending the training course. Local elected officials are often the source of pressure to improve taxicab service in the community in response to customer complaints or officials themselves who received poor taxicab service going to or from the airport.
Thus, there is generally support for taxicab driver training. Implementation Schedule and Costs Implementation costs for training programs for airport taxicab drivers vary depending upon methodology and per- sonnel utilized. Driver training costs should not be significant if the program is conducted by airport personnel and is devel- oped in-house. Should external pro- grams and personnel be utilized to provide this training, then these costs will have to be budgeted as an on-going expense for the drivers. This budget will depend upon the type of programs selected and their anticipated costs per driver.
Examples Examples of driver training programs are included herein. Enforcement Description Airport taxicab enforcement procedures are processes airport officials utilize to manage the operations of taxicab drivers and their vehicles while on airport property. Purpose Due to the nature of an open access taxicab system, there is often little oversight or control of airport taxicab operations by the taxicab companies themselves.
Taxicab companies are often concerned that the independent contractor status of their driver population will be compromised should they exercise significant control over how the taxicab drivers do their job. By default, airport staff must often assume responsibility for the manner in which on-demand taxicab service is provided at the airport, and the oversight of the individual taxicab driver at the end of 2 weeks. Following the completion of the day training period, the driver must pass an exam to qualify as an airport taxicab driver.
There is also a training program for the peer coaches. Often training for taxicab drivers is provided by local colleges on behalf of the airport or the region. At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, drivers attend an hour technical training class at a local college. Training may also be obtained externally from a local agency that provides training to both airport and non-airport drivers.
Taxicab drivers serving Miami International Airport participate in customer service training as part of their Ambassador Cab Program. Vancouver International Airport requires all drivers to go through an in-school driver training program run by the Justice Institute of British Columbia. The airport originally developed the program; however, the surrounding cities now also require their taxicab drivers to attend the training. Topics covered include collision avoidance, how to address passengers with special needs, and English writing skills.
Drivers must pass both a written and a one-on-one interview test in order to complete the training. All costs are borne by the drivers. External associations. There are also several international transportation associations that have developed specific train- ing programs for taxicab drivers. Applicability Driver training programs are applicable in all airports with open access taxicab service that wish to improve the quality of taxicab service at their airport.
Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges The benefits are improved driver training, leading to a reduc- tion in the number of customer complaints and improved compliance with airport taxicab rules and regulations. The key challenges are the costs of the program and obtaining the cooperation of taxicab drivers and taxicab companies. Airport customers would be unaware of the training programs undertaken on behalf of the airport taxi- cab drivers but would appreciate the ability to obtain safe, friendly, customer oriented on-demand taxicab service.
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In most cases a driver is suspended only for a serious infraction of airport rules such as failure to follow the directives of a police or traffic control officer. In most cases the first suspension is for a few days but it may be 6 months or longer if the offense was extremely serious such as reckless driving. Should this behavior con- tinue the driver would be permanently suspended from the airport. At Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Air- port, the minimum suspension is 72 hours. Airport staff do not tolerate behaviors such as fighting and will give a day suspension if a fight occurs.
A fine system is a series of set fines or amounts that reflect the seriousness of the offense. For minor offenses such as failure to go to the correct terminal, the fine may be minimal but for major offenses such as soliciting pas- sengers, the fine can be considerably higher. Airports prefer to impose suspensions rather than fines, as a suspension is easier to impose than attempting to collect a fine from an individual driver and is also an economic disincentive.
Monterey Regional Airport is an example of an airport that uses fines as part of their enforcement process. Irrespective of the system used, whether points, fines, or suspensions, there is always an appeal pro- cess for taxicab drivers. This appeal process can be a simple two-step process of first stating the case before a hearings officer such as the Manager of Landside Management at the airport and then to the director of the airport as a second- ary level of appeal. Often this means that an airport must go to some lengths to ensure each driver is getting a fair hearing.
Such a pro- cess provides an outside third party review of disciplinary actions taken by the airport staff. Or, the company may indicate that it cannot discipline the drivers. Taxicab enforcement procedures are steps taken to ensure public safety and efficient utilization of the airport curbsides and roadways.
These procedures are also utilized to provide fair and equitable opportunities for all taxicab drivers seek- ing to pick up airline passengers desiring on-demand taxicab service at the airport. Why active and strict enforcement is necessary. Active, consistent, and strict enforcement of airport operating rules and procedures is necessary for several reasons.
The airport curbside roadway is a highly congested area with pri- vate and commercial vehicles all vying for available curbside space to drop off and pick up airline passengers. Portions of the curbside areas are allocated for on-demand taxicabs and all taxicab drivers must adhere to the rules for entering this area and the treatment of airline passengers.
Actions such as refusing short trips to close by destinations, imposing extra charges for bags when not permitted, refusing to accept or securely process credit cards where required, or the use of dirty vehicles cannot be tolerated or ignored lest they become common practices at the airport.
Most airport taxicab drivers are hardworking, honest indi- viduals that treat customers with dignity and fairness. How- ever, some do not view airline passengers as repeat customers. Airport taxicab drivers are aware that visitors to the city prob- ably do not know details of the route to their destination, permissible and non-permissible taxicab charges, and who to contact if they left something in the taxicab or have other problems.
Furthermore, should a problem with the service arise, visitors would have to return to the city for a hearing. Thus, there is the opportunity for significant exploitation of the airport taxicab passenger by drivers. It is for these reasons that strict enforcement is necessary in order to stem any poor practices before they become widespread among other airport taxicab drivers. Disciplining drivers and companies. As with many dis- ciplinary systems, there is a hierarchy of actions that get pro- gressively more severe if the offense or number of offenses increases.
Smaller airports usually treat violations on a case by case basis. A point system usually begins with a warn- ing for minor infractions such as a broken taillight. A fail- ure to go to the terminal assigned by the hold lot dispatcher. Most officials understand and appreciate the need for and the applica- tion of strict airport rules. For the most part, these officials want to see an effective appeals process that permits a fair hearing for the taxicab driver.
Implementation Schedule and Costs Implementation costs for enforcement of taxicab driver and vehicle rules and regulations can be considerable in terms of time and effort if the number of warnings, citations, hear- ings, and appeals is large. This is one of the hidden costs of operating an airport with an open access taxicab system.
Air- port staff should not only consider the time it takes to write a citation but also the significant time required in the processing of the citation, a hearing if requested, and an appeal process if requested. Many taxicab driver complaints and ultimate dis- ciplinary actions come from customer comment cards placed within the vehicle or personal letters sent to the airport.
Each of these must be reviewed, acted upon, and answered. At a large airport, this activity may require the full-time equivalent of one or more staff members. Drafting and reviewing a taxicab driver enforcement pro- gram can take considerable time as all legal aspects have to be considered and vetted before taking the program to the local regulatory authority for approval.
This process can take between 6 months to a year to obtain approval and another 3 months to properly explain the program to drivers and make sure each has had a chance to ask questions. Examples Airports with various types of taxicab driver and company enforcement procedures are referenced in the above paragraphs. Proposal Description Airports have two primary ways to obtain on-demand taxi- cab service under an exclusive or semi-exclusive taxicab con- cession.
Alternatively, the airport can specify in detail all the aspects of the service to be provided and ask prospective operators to bid on providing these services. However, some airports do include the taxicab companies in their enforcement program and can award the company warn- ings, fines, suspensions, or other disciplinary type actions. It is common to request a senior company representative attend the hearings with airport staff. Mystery shoppers go through the motions of waiting in a taxicab line, boarding a waiting taxicab, and experiencing the taxi- cab ride.
The shopper or mystery rider then writes up a complete detail of every aspect of their experience. These reports can then be used to discipline taxicab drivers that do not take the shortest route, refuse to accept credit cards, overcharge the secret shopper, or provide other unaccept- able service. Typically airport staff review the reports with both drivers and the senior management of the companies with whom these drivers are affiliated.
Applicability Enforcement procedures are applicable to all airports with an open taxicab system. Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges Active, consistent, and strict enforcement of taxicab rules and procedures improves airport customer service and decreases customer complaints.
The challenge is evenly administering these enforcement procedures and being viewed as fair to all drivers. An additional challenge is carrying out these enforcement procedures, including appeals, in a cost effective manner. While most airport customers will not be aware of the details of any taxicab driver enforcement program, they will appreciate a comfortable, convenient taxicab ride from the airport and being treated fairly and professionally by the taxicab drivers as a result of enforcement procedures that are actively and strictly enforced.
Taxicab drivers do not appreciate a myriad of rules and regulations that they must know and abide by. However, good taxicab drivers are aware that most of these rules are for the good. In addition to the due date for the proposals and permissible forms of submission, a pre- proposal conference, which may or may not be mandatory for all proposers, is typically scheduled in advance of the sub- mission date.
During the time that an RFP for taxicab services is available, there are typically strict limits on who can answer questions about the RFP, and under what circumstances. All potential proposers are requested to make their intentions known and some airports require that in order to obtain a copy of the full RFP, these individuals and firms provide their con- tact information.
Most airport RFPs for taxicab services require that all questions be in writing and that all responses be shared with any prospective proposers. Applicability Exclusive or semi-exclusive taxicab concessions for airport on-demand services are applicable to any airport which has taxicab services. At all but a few airports, all properly licensed taxicabs may also pick up arriving airline passengers by pre- arrangement. An airport on-demand taxicab concession allows the airport to set reasonable standards for vehicles and drivers, with the ability to bring about greater control on the delivery and consistency of high quality taxicab service for the airline traveling public.
Reported Implementation Benefits and Challenges The benefits of an exclusive or semi-exclusive airport on- demand taxicab concession are considerable compared to many airports with an open taxicab system. The airport has much greater control over the quality of vehicles and the behavior of drivers since compliance with airport regulations and proce- dures is part of a contractual agreement in addition to a per- mitting process. There is much more involvement with the taxicab company and its management of the service.
Airports also report significant cost savings when converting from an open airport to an exclusive airport taxicab system due to fewer personnel being assigned to taxicab management. These include the airports serving Cleveland, Fort Myers, In either case, there is typically a MAG stipulated for the suc- cessful proposer, as well as an activity based fee component e. Purpose The purpose of an exclusive access taxicab on-demand con- cession is to allow airport management to gain greater control over the quality of vehicles and service provided in this airport concession.
Airport taxicab concession contracts can include detailed specifications on vehicle standards and driver quali- fications that generally exceed those of the local regulatory authority. A secondary purpose is to have greater leverage over the behavior of drivers and to hold taxicab companies contrac- tually responsible for service. Bids Airport bids for taxicab services are not common due to the subjective nature of many aspects of providing airport taxicab services.
Oversight of taxicab drivers, vehicles, services and operating rules can be complex, depending on the size of the airport, emphasizing the need for an experienced individual to oversee the day-to-day operation of an airport taxicab service. If, however, an airport has had an airport on-demand taxi- cab concession for some time and is satisfied with the service, staff may wish to use a bid process which incorporates and con- tinues the existing operating procedures, vehicle standards, and other details.
Proposals By far the most common method for renewing or establish- ing an airport taxicab concession is the use of the RFP process. Airport staff develop and offer a detailed description of the service desired along with supporting information about the number of taxicab trips dispatched from the airport and other technical aspects of the airport that are deemed necessary to assist proposers in constructing their proposal. The RFP will normally specify the minimum standards for vehicles, drivers, dispatching, and customer service, and invite proposing com- panies to suggest programs that exceed these minimum stan- dards and enhance the experience of airline passengers.
Such a process with so many layers of political overlay can be extremely long and tedious. Thus, it is important to establish a review committee that has a clear, quantitative evaluation process that is communicated well in the RFP and followed consistently throughout the selection process. Implementation Schedule and Costs The implementation schedule for a taxicab concession renewal can be expected to take 6 months or longer if a new operator is selected. The issuing of an RFP and the time for pro- posals to be submitted and reviewed can take several months. In addition, after the selection, the operator needs to be given time to purchase new vehicles or assemble the vehicles that were proposed for the service.
Should the operator selected be a new operator for the airport concession, the time frame for implementation may take longer. Some airport taxicab concessions are contested by firms that were not selected through the RFP process, and it may take another 6 months or more to clear up any legal challenge to the award.
For these reasons, the implementation costs can vary significantly. If an airport is reissuing their taxicab concession RFP for existing services, and the existing operator is the suc- cessful proposer, the time for implementation will be short and the cost minimal, consisting mostly of staff time involved in the construction of the RFP and review of proposals. For airport officials considering a change from an open access taxicab system to that of a concession system, the time and costs of implementing the initial concession can be a considerable challenge.
Local taxicab firms and elected offi- cials may object to the inability of properly licensed taxicabs to continue to serve the airport, despite a long history of pro- viding excellent customer service.