- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Travelers leaving Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are one step closer to using ride-hailing services Uber or Lyft to get to their destination.

The City Council voted 5-4 on Tuesday to advance a plan allowing the companies to pick up passengers starting this summer. A formal council vote will be held in May after a mandatory two-month waiting period.

Gov. Doug Ducey was among those who praised the move. The Republican governor on Wednesday tweeted a photo of himself with David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and Uber’s senior vice president of policy and strategy.

“There’s no doubt about it - #AZ loves ridesharing,” Ducey said in his tweet.

Ducey on Tuesday called the decision to let ride-hailing companies serve airport travelers a “great step forward.” He also said he was glad Arizonans will have more options when they leave Sky Harbor.

Uber and Lyft have been seeking approval to operate at the airport for months. The ride-hailing apps have worked to persuade officials to lower security requirements, including Sky Harbor’s standard fingerprint background check for drivers, to get their operators to the airport curb.

Under the proposed policy changes from the city’s aviation department, drivers could choose a name-based background check along with monthly audits.

The airport’s proposed ground transportation policy would institute a fee system for companies that pick up passengers. Vehicles that seat up to eight people pay $2.75 in 2017, $3.25 in 2018 and then $4 in 2019. Drivers’ trips will be tracked by the airport through a special tag or a GPS-based system.

Operators of parking structures and private shuttles near the airport want further study of the new fee structure. They say the system leaves them paying a disproportionate amount.

“I thought it was a very reasonable request for the fee portion to go back for further study,” said Councilman Bill Gates, who cast a dissenting vote. “I think the fee increase is completely out of whack. … These specific fees were never vetted by a subcommittee at all.”

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