Bulbous has answered your question Nightfire. Whilst on this subject of airport surcharges, we are in the process of planning a family holiday to Brisbane to visit my in-laws - we booked our flights last week. My wife has done some research and has worked out that it will be cheaper for us to transfer to Brisbane’s CBD by a ride share rather than to travel by train. If one is travelling solo then rail is a cheaper option. However it seems that these surcharges can deter people from using this convenient service. An airport rail link is a great asset for any sizeable city to have, but if any airport user has to think twice about using it because of the surcharge, then it obviously can become an under-utilised resource. It’s sad that we probably won’t be using it ourselves. Thankfully this won’t be the case in Perth.
The train/road debate is worthwhile, but given youre going to fill a rideshare you're using the road pretty efficiently. Single riders are not given the waste of available seat kilometres involved. So its not such a bad thing.
The surcharges in Sydney are definitely not a barrier with the cost being substantially lower than taxis for an individual or pair, and often a trio so people use the train a lot for CBD services. This is especially moreso now the trains have found reliability over the last decade. It is a pity there isnt a direct train to the lower north shore or to Parramatta as im sure that even more people would use the service if there was (though transfers are not too bad at Central or Wynyard).
(The other thing with rideshare is are you paying the full price? Talk in transport policy and investor circles (which is becoming more widespread over and above the usual mass media hand wringing) is that Uber cant survive for much longer doing what it is doing. Were seeing massive price jumps for Ubers now and theres more questions about how it can continue to run given it has well and truely reached scale and still isnt profitable).