SuperShuttle drivers at Bay Area airports protest lower fees for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, others

SuperShuttle drivers protesting higher fees they have to pay compared to transportation network companies at Bay Area airports did not show up to work Sunday, a company spokesman said.

About 75 percent of the drivers serving the San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport did not report to their job, according to Jim Gleich, senior vice president for the west region of TransDev, a company that owns SuperShuttle.

A majority of their traffic is to SFO, he said. The drivers say they are against the fee structure set up by the SuperShuttle, which has not changed its business model in the past 10 years, Gleich said.

SuperShuttle is comprised of franchisees under the company's trademark. The shuttles in the Bay Area and the state have to comply with regulations from the California Public Utilities Commission, according to Gleich.

The drivers said they have to pay more to provide service to fliers and don't have the same regulatory oversight compared to other transportation services, the spokesman said.

SuperShuttle has a different cost structure and insurance fees than those types of services, Gleich said.

At SFO, SuperShuttle drivers cannot serve passengers unless they are driving a clean air vehicle, which the company is in compliance with but comes at a cost of between $10,000 to $15,000 Splus the cost of each vehicle, according to Gleich.

The company is also compliant with the American Disabilities Act making their cars more expensive to operate, Gleich said.

Drivers undergo comprehensive training and the company needs to pay quarterly fees to the PUC, according to Gleich.

There have been numerous meetings on the issue between the drivers, a representative from the corporate office, the local general manager and local management, Gleich said.

The most recent meeting was on Friday and the company has continued communicating with the drivers, he said.

There have been delays in service today but Gleich said the company's goal is to “keep passengers satisfied throughout this process.”

He said they have made agreements with taxis and a bus company to serve their customers during the protest.

The drivers have not said how long they plan to stay off the job, according to Gleich.

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