The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANY/NJ) postponed its “airport ground transportation access fee” for Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) passengers, due to the slump in air travel traffic caused by the pandemic. The agency voted in late Oct. to put the fee on hold until April 5, 2021.

Starting in April, travelers using FHVs will pay a $2.50 pick-up and drop-off fee, while Taxi passengers will pay $1.25. Both fees were supposed to take effect on Oct. 3. Taxi fees will increase again to $1.75 on Oct. 1, 2022. The original $4 fee proposed in 2019 was reduced in recognition of a downturn in taxi industry earnings and testimony by cab drivers that the higher fee would cut into their earnings.

According to the PANY/NJ, the fees will help fund a smartphone app to benefit passengers and drivers. It would replace an “archaic taxi dispatch system used for 20 years” and promises to improve the flow of taxis to pick up areas, instead of having drivers “wait for hours in taxi hold lots on the airport,” officials said.