Some rideshare options return to curbside pickup at SFO

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The holiday travel season officially begins Friday and according to AAA, over the next week alone, nearly 4.5 million people will be traveling by plane for the Thanksgiving holiday.

With the travel season, comes another set of changes to rideshare pick ups at the San Francisco International Airport. 

Back in May the airport shifted almost all rideshare pick ups to a separate location on garage level 5.

They wanted to get rid of the congestion on the airport roadways and they say it’s been so successful that starting today, they’re reintroducing some of the more expensive rideshare options back to the curbside pickups.

“Every airport is seeing that increase in utilization and struggling with what’s the best balance between customer service and managing the roadways effectively,” said airport spokesperson Doug Yakel.

Never fixed and ever-evolving — that’s how Yakel described the issue of transportation and congestion on the roads at SFO. 

“We relocated all Uber and Lyft pickups earlier this year, and it’s been so successful, we feel there’s the opportunity to return some small portion of that activity to the curbside area,” he said.

He says since May, roadway flow at the airport has improved and now through mid January, those choosing to ride Uber comfort, select or XL can be picked up at the curb once again.

Those choosing the cheaper Uberx or eco-friendly Uber pool options will still have to make their way to garage level 5

“I usually don’t choose the more expensive option, so it’s not a bother,” one traveler said. “After I’ve been on a plane for a while, I don’t mind the walk.”

According to SFO, comfort, select and Uber XL rides, account for just about 10 percent of pickups at the airport and this reintroduction is just the first step.

“I’d imagine the whole reason they did this is to reduce chaos,” another traveler said. “It’s a lot easier to reduce chaos on the more expensive services than it is on the more affordable ones.”

Right now, if you were to choose XL comfort or select, your ride would cost about $20 more.

It’s important to note this doesn’t include Lyft riders, but SFO says there will likely be an opportunity for Lyft to explore the same options.

Of course as we head into the holiday season, they’re reminding travelers to arrive at least two hours ahead of your flight time. 

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