The Atlanta airport’s changes to rideshare pickup locations scheduled to take effect Wednesday shouldn’t affect travelers accustomed to hailing Uber or Lyft at the international terminal.
Harsfield-Jackson officials announced Monday that the airport would move pickups by rideshare providers to the economy parking lots, about a five-minute walk from the north or south terminals on the domestic side, according to the airport.
Travelers arriving in the international terminal can continue to be picked up at the outer curbside on the arrivals level.
Passengers requesting rideshare services at the North or South terminals had been able to board at any lower- or upper-level curbside. That was an improvement from the launch at the start of this year, when pickups were limited to curbsides just beyond the lower-level exit doors. New directional videos released by the airport show how rideshare users will pass by that location, following color-coded signage winding through concrete parking decks, sometimes on thin sidewalks where rolling luggage might be a challenge.
An airport spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the pickups are being moved to reduce congestion during construction of canopies over the curb areas on the domestic side, which is requiring alternating lane closures that have caused traffic problems.
Ridesharing has been a contentious issue at the airport, with Uber particularly protesting the airport’s requirement that drivers making pickups at the airport pass a background check and sign up for a permit. ‘Unofficial’ pickups had already been happening, and there were no regulations against drop-offs.