When I got off the plane late last night at SFO and called up Lyft for a ride home I was surprised when the app told me that the driver was only one minute away. I was still deep in the terminal and had to hustle to get to the curbside to keep him from waiting.
When calling up Lyft or Uber at the airport, have you noticed that your car shows up a lot faster these days? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
Starting last month both Lyft and Uber rolled out something called “Rematch” at four California airports: San Francisco International, Oakland International, Mineta San Jose International and Los Angeles International. This new functionality allows drivers to drop off AND pick up passengers simultaneously at the airport.
In the past drivers could enter airport grounds to pick up OR drop off passengers, but they could not do both. That meant passengers had to wait 5-8 minutes for the driver to get to the airport from a remote lot.
Officials at LAX said that they allow the practice to further reduce traffic in the central terminal area. In a press release, they said:
“Rematch works by increasing the number of persons who can be picked up during a single TNC [ridesharing] driver’s trip into LAX. Under regular TNC operating policies, TNC vehicles can enter the airport only to pick-up or drop-off passengers, but not both. For TNC companies authorized to use Rematch technology, following a drop-off trip, drivers may see a Rematch notification informing them of a passenger pick-up before exiting. If there is no Rematch notification, then the driver will exit the terminal area following his/her drop-off. Rematch requests will only be issued within the airport, and only to vehicles with confirmed drop-offs.”
Sounds like a good plan to me. Now if they can only do something about all the crowding at the designated pick up areas at LAX and SFO. It’s getting crazy congested curbside at peak hours. Have you noticed? Please leave your comments below.