A new process aims to make it much easier to connect with a rideshare when leaving the airport.
Recently introduced at Portland International Airport (PDX), it makes the rideshare experience more like finding a taxi and avoids the need to hunt for your requested ride.
Anyone wanting to grab a rideshare at busy times has probably experienced “kerbside confusion”, the airport said: riders scan the incoming cars, traversing the kerb length to find their ride; drivers search for their rider while avoiding travellers lugging suitcases darting in and out of cars.
Now, passengers open the Lyft or Uber app to request a ride and receive a numerical code. They are then given instructions to join the dedicated pickup queue. When they reach the front of the queue they show their code to the next available driver, who then verifies the code and the journey proceeds as usual.
In peak periods, PDX can see more than 400 rideshare pickups per hour, the airport said. The new process at the rideshare pickup location is expected to lower wait times and decrease kerbside congestion.
Uber first developed its PIN-matching solution in 2016 to streamline pickups at high-volume, high-density event venues. Since then, it has been used at more than 60 events worldwide.
The company extended the process to airports last year with a trial at Bangalore airport in India. The launch at PDX is a first for a US airport.
If successful, both Uber and Lyft are likely to roll out the process at other airports in the US and internationally.