SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Passengers arriving at SFO’s domestic terminal are being picked up by Uber and Lyft drivers at a new location after a policy change went into effect at the airport earlier this week.
San Francisco International Airport officials announced the plan in late April. The policy that commenced on June 3rd has created some confusion for travelers.
The change has sent all of the ride-hailing app pickups — about 15,000 a day — to one of three locations in the domestic parking garage. There are letters serving as meeting spots for drivers and riders and signs showing the way, in addition to information provided on the apps.
The new rules have arriving passengers walking to the domestic garage through a skyway. Once they get outside, some are finding frustration.
“Now they’re making us run all over. It’s not good,” said an Uber passenger who gave his name as Adi,
“This is insane and it’s a terrible idea,” an Uber passenger and Redwood City resident Pearly Emmenegger.
“I don’t even want to come here no more,” said another.
“Why is the city doing that to Uber? What did they ever do to the city?” asked Blane Deutsch, who was visiting from Dallas.
It used to be a free-for-all for Uber and Lyft drivers as far as picking up and dropping off passengers at the curb, just like a normal car would. But the sheer number of passengers trying to leave the airport was creating problems.
“Just that volume of activity was really bringing out roadways to a standstill,” said SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.
The new policy is likely to have a learning curve for drivers and riders alike.
“Now he’s saying he’s at the wrong number and trying to tell me I’m at the right spot when its right there on the app,” said Uber passenger Mark Emmenegger. He’s looping around again because they made him leave.
The driver did eventually find them. The 4th time was the charm.
“We’re losing a lot of time. I was on the other side of this wall. They wouldn’t let me turn in here. And it’s just confusing,” said the driver.
Uber sent out a statement saying, in part, “We are concerned that moving all rideshare pick-ups to the garage could actually increase congestion while inconveniencing riders and lowering earnings for drivers.”
Lyft said, “We look forward to continuing to evaluate the impacts of the move and alternative solutions with airport leadership.”
SFO officials allowed that it would take some time to adjust for everyone.
“We know its a change, but we think in the long run, this will be better,” said SFO spokesperson Yakel.
Uber and Lyft drivers are still allowed to drop off departing passengers curbside at SFO.