Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to move Uber and Lyft pickups to a different location due to limited space on the curbside during construction of massive canopies.
While Uber and Lyft drivers had previously been limited to the lower level curbside for pickups, Uber and Lyft drivers are currently allowed to pick up passengers anywhere on the curbside, on the upper or lower levels at Terminal South or Terminal North.
But the airport’s construction of massive canopies that will cover the curbside area requires shifting lane closures that are causing congestion. The canopies, which along with other terminal improvements will cost $265 million, are part of the airport’s $6 billion expansion and modernization plan.
On recent nights, for example, outer lanes of the upper level have been closed and inner lanes of the lower level have been closed.
The canopies are expected to take until the end of 2018 to complete.
The airport plans to move Uber and Lyft pickups from the current curbside areas to a different location in mid-July.
“We are working to identify locations for Uber and Lyft to pick up their passengers while we install a canopy on the roadways,” said Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Reese McCranie. “We’re not going to have the available curb space for those operations while the canopy installation is occurring. That’s why we’ve got to move them.”
The airport is considering locations for Terminal North and Terminal South, and has not finalized plans, according to McCranie.
Lyft said while the construction “poses challenges for our operations at the airport,” it worked to “arrive at a solution that made the best of a difficult situation,” including pickups at the South economy lot during construction, according to a written statement from Lyft Atlanta general manager Sam Bond.
But Uber has expressed concern about the potential for longer wait times for passengers if the new location doesn’t have enough space for drivers to pick up customers during busy periods.
Uber spokeswoman Evangeline George said in a written statement that the company had “significant concerns” about the potential impact on travelers and drivers, and hopes to “work with airport officials on an improved solution for our shared customers during ATLNext construction.”
Uber and Lyft riders pay a $3.85 fee to the airport for each pickup from Hartsfield-Jackson, on top of the fare.