Atlanta airport still working on ride-share fixes


Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport continues looking for ways to mitigate problems with Uber and Lyft pickups at new designated ride-share pickup zones.

Over the past week, some passengers have voiced concerns about the airport’s new pickup areas, which require a walk through parking garages to the economy lots. Drivers enter the economy lots to pick up passengers and must exit within 15 minutes to avoid paying parking fees.

Congestion has been most acute on Thursday nights, a peak period for business travelers returning home.

Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Andrew Gobeil said the backup last week wasn’t as bad as a week earlier, when lines of drivers extended from the pickup area back into the entrance to the economy lot.

He said the airport had staff on hand to look for Uber and Lyft hangtags and direct drivers to the correct lanes.

Sundays and Mondays are also busy periods for travelers.

Gobeil emphasized that the new pickup zones launched Aug. 16 are temporary while massive canopies are built over the curbside areas. Non-commercial pickups, as well as taxi and limo pickups, are not affected.

An Uber spokeswoman said in a written statement: “While the airport has the authority to designate rideshare pick-up locations, we will continue to give airport officials feedback about challenges for riders and driver-partners and feedback about solutions for our shared customers.”

The airport advises passengers to wait until they get to the pickup zone to request a ride. But some travelers have run into problems with getting a cellular signal at the economy lot.

Hartsfield-Jackson is investigating the issue and is “looking for ways we can, if needed, boost the signal,” Gobeil said.

The airport is also adding signs, lighting and more customer service staff to help drivers and passengers, he said.

He said the airport plans to build exclusive exit lanes for Uber and Lyft drivers that are separated from the regular economy lot exit lanes. But the airport is not considering moving the pickup zones because there is not enough space elsewhere, and it is not considering extending the 15 minute grace period because it could cut into the airport’s parking revenue.

“We are confident that if the drivers and passengers follow the process… there will be no need for them to exceed the 15 minute period,” Gobeil said.

Uber pasengers pay a $3.85 fee per airport pickup, which is passed onto Hartsfield-Jackson. The fee includes the same $1.50 fee paid by taxi passengers, along with a $2.35 per-passenger surcharge for businesses like Uber and Lyft that use private background checks instead of state fingerprint checks

Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Roosevelt Council said earlier this year: “The fee was for us to ensure that we could provide the service at a very high level.”

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Experts (well, some) predict Amazon will pick Atlanta
Experts (well, some) predict Amazon will pick Atlanta

A company that specializes in comparing communities, making lists of best and worst, has surveyed the various bets on Amazon’s new headquarters and predicted a Georgia choice. Seattle-based Amazon recently narrowed its list of potential cities for its second headquarters from several hundred down to 20 – Atlanta and 19 other metro...
Facebook said to be interested in Atlanta area data center complex
Facebook said to be interested in Atlanta area data center complex

Social media giant Facebook is said to be pursuing a deal for a massive data center complex at a sprawling industrial park east of Atlanta. The California-based Fortune 500 company is said to be behind plans for the data center complex at Stanton Springs, near the Shire pharmaceutical plant along I-20 near Social Circle. A person familiar with...
Kroger looking to partner with Overstock.com: report
Kroger looking to partner with Overstock.com: report

Kroger is considering teaming up with Overstock.com Inc. in an effort to compete with online retailers. The New York Post reported the Cincinnati-based grocer may be eyeing a deal with Overstock.com, according to sources. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said last year that he plans to sell or reorganize the e-commerce business to focus on blockchain...
Georgia state senator prepares bill requiring internet ‘neutrality’
Georgia state senator prepares bill requiring internet ‘neutrality’

When the Federal Communications Commission voted to toss out “net neutrality,” consumer advocates howled that the change would limit consumer choices and hurt small businesses. Since then, scores of Congress members have said they support the idea of re-instating the rule but discussion of the idea has been largely sidetracked as lawmakers...
Power still out in Puerto Rico; Southern Company sends more crews
Power still out in Puerto Rico; Southern Company sends more crews

Southern Company has deployed line workers and support staff to Puerto Rico to help restore power to the area ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Drawn from Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power companites, the crews are part of an industry effort comprising 1,500 workers, said the company in a written statement. Those workers will...
More Stories