A three-month pilot program allowing ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber to pick up passengers at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is starting.
Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay said the program that starts on Friday should cut wait times for customers, regardless of their transportation preference.
Ride-hailing apps were already allowed to drop off passengers, but can now pickup at two designated spots: the Interisland Terminal across from Lobby 2 and at the Overseas Terminal across from Lobby 8.
Uber and Lyft have been granted temporary permits for the program. The companies have agreed to pay the Airports Division 7 percent of prearranged trip fares.
The development is a major change to current policy and angered taxi drivers, who have long argued that ride-hailing companies have unfair advantages over cabs. Taxi drivers stopped picking up passengers on Thursday to protest the pilot program.
Drivers are not allowed to solicit customers or wait on airport property without having a pre-arranged customer.
“Oahu residents and visitors will benefit from having another convenient, affordable transportation option at the airport,” said Andrew Magana, senior manager for Uber in Hawaii. “This is also something uberX drivers on Oahu have long been asking for, as it will greatly help their business and support the local economy.”
Uber said the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is the last of the nation’s top 30 airports to allow pickups by uberX drivers.
Lyft called the pilot program exciting.
“Passengers across the country have come to expect access to ridesharing during their travels and we’re looking forward to providing Lyft to the millions of Oahu residents and visitors who travel through HNL each year,” said Kirk Safford, Lyft’s senior manager of airports and venues.