Uber drivers are crying foul at copping $65 parking breach fees for dropping customers off on Auckland's Princes Wharf.
They say they are stopping for seconds to let passengers out and have little choice other than to stop briefly on private land.
But the company issuing the tickets, Parking Enforcement Services (PES), says the privately owned area is getting treated like a taxi rank and tenants are complaining about congestion.
One driver disputes being issued a parking breach notice, saying it's not reasonable to characterise stopping briefly as parking.
Another estimated hundreds of parking breach notices have been handed out to drivers stopping for all of five seconds to let passengers out.
"The behaviour's extremely predatory," Lucas Arthur said.
Princes Wharf is privately owned and not part of the main road, an Auckland Council spokeswoman confirmed.
The area on the wharf is designated for authorised taxis only, as noted by a sign saying "No stopping, pre-approved taxis only. Enforcement applies".
The sign notes unauthorised vehicles will be asked to leave immediately and may incur a $65 fine, and there are yellow lines marking the side of the road, which is also used regularly by pedestrians.
Arthur said the enforcement was unreasonable as drivers were being ticketed while in the car right off the bat.
"They're going against their own sign - they're not even asking drivers to move along."
The viaduct was a popular area for passengers to request drop-off in, and Uber drivers were hamstrung because riders choose their destination, Arthur said.
"It's just unfair."
Fellow Uber driver Umair Iftikhar also thought the practice was unjust.
Iftikhar had been stung with a $65 fee for dropping a passenger off, but does not intend to pay it.
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"The breach says my vehicle was parked without authority which is not correct. I never parked my car and left the car, nor did I use the parking space," he said.
"I said to them 'that does not seem fair and reasonable'."
Iftikhar tried appealing the fee twice to no avail, and PES has told him they will not entertain further communication with him about dropping the fee.
On average, Iftikhar estimates he earns just over $20 an hour after covering expenses, so paying the fee would be the equivalent of about three hours' work.
Spokeswoman Anne-Marie Petersen said PES, a division of Wilson Parking, was contracted by the Princes Wharf corporate body to monitor and enforce the drive area.
"We have received several complaints from owners, tenants as well as their customers about taxis blocking drive and pedestrian areas.
"Taxis loading and unloading in drive areas pose significant health and safety risks.
"The area is clearly identified as a no-stopping zone with broken yellow lines."
Princes Wharf was not a taxi rank, she added.
Petersen said taxis were warned to move on before tickets were issued.
"Unfortunately many of these drivers ignore the line-marking, signage and officer instructions."
An Uber spokeswoman said the company was aware of the problem and were currently trying to secure a pick-up and drop-off area on Auckland's viaduct.
Drivers were encouraged to "consider all applicable road rules and parking restrictions".
"We are working on ways to suggest alternative pick-up locations in this area."