Washington Dulles to open new kerb for shared ride pick-ups
Leaving Washington Dulles International Airport by road is about to get a whole lot easier with the August 18 opening of a newly constructed passenger pick-up kerb built to more efficiently accommodate app-based ride services.
The kerb, located on the ground level outside of baggage claim, was built to better accommodate transportation network company (TNC) vehicles picking up passengers as they depart the airport and to redistribute traffic volume from the current arrivals-level vehicle lanes.
Built just beyond the existing kerb on the airport’s lower commercial vehicle ground transportation level, the new pick-up area spans nearly 500 linear feet and features a permanent, overhead canopy topped with solar panels that feed electricity into the airport’s main power system.
Alphanumeric-designated zones will help customers identify the appropriate meeting location to facilitate a faster connection between driver and passenger and create a more streamlined process for catching a ride from the airport.
“At Dulles International we identified a twofold need for improved flow of ground transportation: traffic alleviation during the busier times of the day and year, and a simpler, more convenient procedure for passengers hailing a ride through app-based services,” said Jerome Davis, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer.
“The solution was a new kerb, dedicated solely for app-based ride services that will help relieve future airport roadway congestion and simplify the process for connecting passengers with their driver.”
When hailing a ride through a mobile app, passengers will be directed by both in-app messages and new terminal wayfinding signage to the ground level from the baggage claim area at arrivals doors 2, 4 and 6 and directly to the new ride app kerb.
Likewise, app-based ride service drivers entering the airport for a pick-up will be routed off of Saarinen Circle as they approach the main terminal and onto a dedicated lane, where they will connect with their passenger at the requested pick-up zone.
By separating TNC vehicles from the private vehicle pickup lanes on the current arrivals level, the airport expects a smoother flow of traffic on its roadways and a more streamlined procedure for passengers to identify their driver and load their belongings as they leave the airport.
Additionally, the new kerb will help enable greater social distancing practices with the added space both for passengers awaiting TNC rides and those awaiting pickup by private vehicle on the arrivals level curb.
“We take a passenger-first approach in ensuring our customers have the best travel experience possible,” said Mike Stewart, MWAA’s vice president and Dulles International Airport manager.
“This new dedicated curb for app-based ride service pickups is a reflection of that commitment, as we continue to adapt to meet the needs and convenience of our passengers.”
While the switchover onto the new kerb for app-based ride service pickups will go into effect on August 18, airport drop-offs for all vehicles will remain on the main departures level.