Ridesharing Comes to HIA
Recently, Uber become the first ridesharing transportation provider at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA). So, what is Uber and why is an agreement necessary to pick up at HIA?
Uber is a technology platform that connects driver-partners with riders through a smartphone app. When you arrive at HIA, you use their app to request a ride. Your app notifies you when the driver-partner is about to arrive. You can also review info about the driver-partner who you will ride with, including first name, vehicle type, and license plate number. This is helpful information so you can easily find your driver when meeting him/her in the HIA pickup zone, located on the third floor of the parking garage, near the elevators.
When you arrive at your final destination and exit the vehicle, your trip ends. Your fare is automatically calculated and charged to the payment method you’ve linked to your Uber account. Ridesharing services like Uber have become extremely popular in certain parts of the country and are now growing in Pennsylvania.
At HIA, just like at most airports nationwide, the public can pick up and drop off passengers in front of the terminal building. The only restrictions are someone must stay with the vehicle and the vehicle is only allowed at the curb while the loading and unloading process takes place. Since 9/11, no vehicle parking is allowed in front of an airport terminal building
However, for ground transportation companies—taxis, limos, buses, hotel shuttles—the rules are slightly different. While they are still allowed to drop off passengers along the terminal front curb, all for hire pickups are required to either have an agreement with the airport authority, or pay an additional fee when exiting the garage. Companies with an agreement are able to pick up in the HIA ground transportation center, located on the first floor of the parking garage. The agreement assures passengers that these companies are reliable, reputable, they have insurance coverage, drivers are screened, and vehicles are kept in good working condition. The agreement also provides each driver a transponder, allowing access to the first floor pickup zone, and charging a pre-determined fee. The fee generates revenue for the airport authority, helping to pay for the construction, use, and ongoing maintenance of the parking garage.
The Uber pickup zone is on the third floor of the garage because issuing every Uber driver in central PA a transponder is just not practical.
The airport authority strives to offer our passengers, tenants and employees as many transportation options as possible while maintaining a competitive and fair operating environment for companies choosing to do business at HIA. The addition of a ridesharing transportation company is another step forward in our ongoing commitment to provide our guests an Altogether Better experience.