KCI and other airports considering changes to Uber and Lyft access

New KCI proposal-- designs by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Just in time for holiday travel, some airports are making it a little less convenient to travel.  Along with larger crowds you may also lose the convenience of curbside drop off and pickup if you rely on taxis or ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

The changes won’t impact you getting to or from Kansas City International Airport right now, but may when the new terminal opens in 2023.

Los Angeles International Airport is the latest airport to implement changes.  A taxi or rideshare driver is no longer allowed to pick you up at the curb if you fly into the airport.

Starting October 29, you’ll have to catch an LAX shuttle to get to a taxi, Uber or Lyft.  The shuttle will take you to a designated pick-up area at the airport.  From there you’ll need to find your driver.

Uber sent a letter to LAX warning that the change could cause travelers to wait in long lines for rides.  LAX responded saying it expects passengers to be out of the airport in about 30 minutes of leaving the terminal.

LAX says the changes are being made in hopes of cutting down on the number of cars, shuttles and people trying to get through the airport’s roads and terminals.

LAX joins a growing list of airports that have already made similar changes to help with traffic congestion issues.

In Austin, TX, you will be dropped off curbside when you arrive for your flight.  If you plan to leave the airport and hope to catch an Uber, you’ll need to head over to the rental car area.

In Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle, you won’t be dropped off or picked up at the curb.  Instead your driver will take you to a designated location in the airport’s central parking garage.  From there you’ll make your way to the terminal.

At Kansas City International Airport, taxis and ridesharing drivers are still allowed to drop you off at the curb.  They can pick you up curbside, too.  But that policy could change with the new terminal.

Justin Meyer, Deputy Director of Marketing for KCI, does confirm that the airport is considering relocating taxi and ride-sharing pick ups to a dedicated area.  Designers are considering an area inside the lower level of the new parking garage.  He says that drop offs will remain curbside.

If the design is agreed upon, the area will be less than a minute walk from the exit doors of the new terminal.  “The dedicated area will also improve the ability to find your driver,” said Meyer.

Right now, planning is still underway when it comes to the roadways and the garage design, but KCI Airport says if the proposal is approved, it would improve traffic flow and congestion.

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