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Boise Airport to add designated ride-hailing waiting & pickup areas

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Catching a ride share like Lyft or Uber at the Boise Airport may soon look a little less chaotic.

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As first reported by the Idaho Press, airport officials reached an agreement with Uber for a specific lot for drivers to idle while they wait for customers and a special area to pick up arrivals. A similar agreement is still in the works with Lyft.  

Before any agreement, Uber and Lyft drivers would idle in the cell phone waiting area and other areas in and around the airport to try and snatch up passengers in need of a ride. Now, they can park in a special lot the Boise Airport owns off of Apollo Street behind one of the hotels. 

[Boise Airport traffic perks up — slightly; Another airline cuts destination]

The pick-up area for Ubers collecting their passengers will be on the upper level, outside the doors of the rotunda. Sean Brigs, spokesman for the Boise Airport, said this will both help relieve traffic congestion and provide a central place for passengers to go for their ride. He called these types of agreements between ridesharing companies and airports “standard.”

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“Previously if you were getting a ride you wouldn’t necessarily know if your vehicle was on the upper level or the lower level, so this might make it easier for the user to find their ride,” he said. 

New signs on the way

Crews will install wayfinding signs and shelters to help riders navigate to the designated pick-up areas. These improvements will cost roughly $50,000, which will be paid out of the airport’s operating fund instead of tax dollars. 

Uber will also begin paying a monthly fee to the airport depending on how many pick-ups and drop-offs drivers complete. The airport will charge $1.50 per trip, which Uber will calculate and pay.

The Boise Airport has seen exponential growth as the economy has boomed and the population is growing. With 4.1 million passengers in 2019, Briggs said the arrival and departure areas around the airport were getting clogged with traffic. Officials hope standardizing where Uber drivers can go will alleviate some of the issues. 

“The cell phone waiting area and lower curb was becoming quite congested, so by moving Uber to the upper curb it should decongest some of those areas,” he said. 

There are no other regulations of Uber and other ridesharing services at the Boise Airport or elsewhere in the city. This is the result of 2015 legislation passed by the Idaho State Legislature preventing municipalities from enacting any regulations curbing their operations.

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Margaret Carmel
Margaret is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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