Travelers who use park-and-ride lots on the outskirts of the Nashville International Airport may not have to pay higher parking rates after all.
Thousands of customers rely on private parking lots on the fringe of the airport to get them to their gate on time, but those lot owners learned last month the airport was planning to give them a whopping fee increase for the privilege of driving through the airport to pick up and drop off customers.
Instead of paying $1.75 for every trip through the terminal, the companies would have to pay $6.50.
The private parking companies raised their customers' rates by a dollar or two per trip to absorb the increase, but the Nashville Airport Authority agreed Wednesday to reconsider a big fee increase for the companies that operate those lots.
When and if the companies' fees go back down is still a bit up in the air.
"The key word is 'fair,'" said David Hornsby, with Executive Travel and Parking.
Hornsby spoke on behalf of six parking lot owners, saying the increases means his company - which used to pay about $450 a month - will now owe about $12,000 a month.
"That's a 2,000 percent increase in 20 months," Hornsby said.
At the same time, hotel shuttle buses had their fees cut from $1.25 per trip to just 25 cents.
"So, the hotels got an 80 percent decrease, while we got a huge increase," Hornsby said.
The airport's management told Channel 4 News two weeks ago that the fee increase was overdue, saying park-and-ride lots had been paying too little for too long.
But the increases had never been voted on by the airport authority board, and that's where it ended up Wednesday.
Authority Chairman James Cheek said the board will now appoint a committee to address their concerns.
"I think we can work through this issues, and I will make that motion to the board," Cheek said.
The disappointing news for parking lot operators and their customers is that the airport authority is not rolling back those higher prices that recently went into effect, at least for now.
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