Update: Small Operators Lose Battle in Miami Hub Dispute

Small car rental operators at Miami International Airport have lost their battle to gain space in the new auto-rental hub under construction, Miami Today reports.

The original plan called for dividing up the space based on market share. A reworking of that plan proposed by Commissioner Dorrin Rolle called for seven small companies with a combined market share of 1 percent to get 25 percent of the space.

However, national car-rental firms, including Hertz, Alamo and Avis, were threatening to walk away from the project. If the national fleets abandoned the car-rental center, there wouldn't be enough surtax revenue to repay construction loans, Florida Department of Transportation District 6 Secretary Johnny Martinez said in the Miami Today story.

Now, under the old agreement, the local companies will be limited to 10 rental-car slots and 10 feet of counter space in the customer-service area. They will share back-office space, a car-wash bay and a fueling station.

Commissioner Carlos Gimenez said the benefit of helping the local companies is not worth the risk of the facility not being built.

However, Robert Holland, an attorney representing the small fleets, said his clients may pull out of the project and are considering a lawsuit. In the existing proposal the 10 feet of counter space for each company is “a nightmare.”

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