Changes to Uber and Lyft pickups at LaGuardia

Posted at 12:15 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 00:15:53-04

QUEENS — Construction, congestion and now chaos for a car service.

"We're going to lose the money, sometimes we lose one hour or two hours," said Lyft Driver Hackan Egilmez.

He was waiting to pick up passengers at LaGuardia airport Monday night - just one week after the Port Authority rolled out a new system for how you get into Ubers and Lyfts at the airport.

"Once I come over they ask me if I'm waiting for a pin, I say yes, and they send the next rider over to me," said Clifton Thomas, an Uber driver who was also picking up passengers at the airport.

Instead of requesting a ride-sharing service from the app on your phone, and getting in once your driver arrives at your terminal, now there's an extra step, and, a line to wait on - which could take a few minutes, or up to an hour - depending on the time of day.

"Well I don't like it, I prefer we pick up the Uber like we always had," Randy Watson, who is visiting NYC from Colorado.

Passengers now receive a pin code that pops up after the ride request, and have to wait on line with other passengers. The drivers are lined up too, similar to taking a yellow cab.

"I like the old way, it's a little bit more convenient," said Craig Leonard, who is visiting from Milwaukee.

According to a Lyft spokesperson, it will make airport pick-ups easier by lowering wait times and reducing congestion, adding LGA is the first east-coast airport to use this new system.

Uber released this statement: "This was a decision the Port Authority made as a result of ongoing construction at the airport, and we're working closely with them to try and limit issues for riders and drivers."

"It's definitely more streamline than what was going on before, I like it," said another passenger.

The Port Authority says there are specific places for the for-hire vehicles.

They released a statement to PIX11: "This month, Uber and Lyft rolled out new pin matching systems at LGA which follow similar programs at Portland International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. While these programs are in their early stages, we are learning from them and are working to improve wait times and reduce congestion at the airport.”

"Usually I just stand and wait and a driver shows up, it will be a little bit of a change," said another passenger.

According to the port authority, they understand the frustration for passengers and drivers but they're confident after some time and some getting use to things will begin to go smoothly. The goal is to ease congestion at the airport.