MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Hailing an Uber or Lyft from Miami International Airport can be confusing.
“It is kind of chaotic,” said ride share customer Ailien Racines. “Everyone trying to get home, or where they’re going, on a cruise or to their hotel and then cars are coming here, locals picking up plus the Uber and Lyft. So it is confusing,” she said.
With Super Bowl just days away, 30,000 more passengers are expected to fly into Miami this weekend alone, adding to the 70,000 who already come in and out of the airport daily.
Until recently, it was difficult for passengers to see the signs to figure out where their ride would pick them up, especially at the busy North Terminal.
When we pointed out to passenger Katarina that the designated pick up point was one lane over from where she was waiting, she said, “Oh, I didn’t know that. They always pick me up from here, so it is a little bit confusing. So I have to go there?” she asked.
Just before Christmas, realizing there was confusion, the airport put up better signage, showing exactly where passengers can catch their ride.
It seems simple.
Passenger Jackie Wenz did not find it confusing.
“I thought it was pretty easy, but I’m used to doing it at O’Hare. It’s pretty much the same and I just texted my driver and told him where we were,” she said.
While Wenz was in the right spot, many times the drivers are confused. Her driver went to the wrong lane.
“So we’re at the side where the Lyft is supposed to pick up but it looks like, as you suggested, he’s in the other lane,” Jackie said.
Here is how it is supposed to work at the North Terminal.
The first lane is for cabs, the second is for family and friends who are picking up passengers, the third lane is for ride share apps and the last is for hotel shuttles.
“We’re working on that messaging of getting ride app pickups to go to that designated area,” said Miami International Airport Spokesman Greg Chin. “It’s still a work in progress. And we’re trying to be flexible for the ride app drivers to position them in the right place,” he said.
In some cases, drivers were not only picking up passengers in the wrong lane, but also even stopping in traffic to load suitcases and people.
“It’s dangerous, I think, for everybody,” said one passenger as his ride share stopped in traffic to load up.
At Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, ride share pick up is in designated areas, away from other airport traffic.
MIA cannot use that system because of space constraints. Therefore, the push is to improve the process of getting passengers and drivers to the same meeting spot, which airport officials admit, could take time.
“I think the drivers will catch on when they see the passengers are in one location and sometimes they’re in another lane and they’re not connecting with those passengers and that’s impact their business and their operation,” Chin said.
With the new signage up less than two months, airport officials will monitor to see if they need even more signs or if they need to tweak what they already have.