Austin airport opens new pickup garage for taxi/rideshare passengers

People flying into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will have to walk a little farther to catch a rideshare or taxi. 

Monday, the airport launched a new pickup area for those services. 

“Bring your patience. It's something new here at the airport,” said Derick Hackett, public relations specialist with ABIA. 

The idea was put in place to help everyone get where they're going a little faster. 

“This plan is going to alleviate about 3,700 cars per day that were coming and going in front of the terminal,” Hackett said.  

“Before it was very chaotic and rushed and I didn't know where to go and now it's very organized and there's no one pushing you, so it's nice,” said rideshare passenger Lynsey Lopez.  

Some people said the new garage is not easy to find. 

“The people who are actually requesting a Lyft or Uber, they're very confused throughout this whole change. This is my second time coming by today, and I actually have to call the actual rider to tell them, ‘Hey, this is where you need to go.’ So it's been kind of confusing just getting to the right pickup spot,” said rideshare driver Leo Kahey.  

“It's going to take time for people to get used to it, and the drivers as well, I'm sure,” said Trey Dolezal, who opted for a cab after waiting several minutes for a rideshare driver who never showed up.  

The airport has placed signs to direct people to the new pickup location in the rental car lot. Once there, rideshare passengers can direct their driver to a number and color-coded column in the garage. 

“There are other airports across the world and across the nation who are using a similar number and color-coded system and it works very well there and we think it's going to work here,” Hackett said.  

As for those with lots of luggage or who aren't able to take the extra 210 steps alone, a mobility shuttle will be available to travelers 24-7. 

“We got in a little cart and the guy told us to get in there. It was kind of like going to Disney World or something, so it was fine,” said Dolezal.  

Hackett said there is a plan in place for an autonomous shuttle to transport passengers from the terminal to rideshare and taxi pickup, but he did not specify when that may happen.