Travelers flying into the world’s busiest airport will now be allowed to use rival ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) officials announced that from January 1, 2017, Uber and Lyft drivers are authorized to pick up passengers on the lower levels of the airport’s domestic and international terminals. New “Rideshare” signs direct travellers to designated pickup areas; pickups at the baggage-claim area are prohibited.
Uber and Lyft passengers will pay a $3.85 fee in addition to normal ride charges. The fee includes the same $1.50 fee charged to taxicabs on airport pickups plus an additional $2.35 charge that airport officials say covers permitting, security, maintenance, and other costs related to ride-sharing, including the expense of building a new waiting lot for Uber and Lyft drivers. No fee will be charged on airport drop-offs, however.
“With pickups being an option, we really think that things are going to take off at the airport,” Lyft Atlanta general manager Sam Bond told the Atlanta Constitution-Journal. “I think it’s really going to be a huge driver of Lyft’s growth in 2017.”
The Atlanta City Council voted in September 2016 to allow Uber and Lyft to officially operate at the airport. Previously, the ride-sharing services were allowed to drop passengers off at ATL but were legally banned from picking up at the airport, although the rule was widely flouted.