In 2019, the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) saw nearly 9 million passengers flow through its gates. The second busiest airport in the state, it sees an average of over 400 flights per day on over a dozen airlines.
For Uber and Lyft drivers in Western Pennsylvania, this is great news. Millions of passengers at PIT means more riders lining up for long airport drives, which leads to greater earnings for rideshare drivers.
The Pittsburgh airport allows Uber and Lyft vehicles at the pick-up and drop-off terminals, but before heading that way, there are a couple rules you’ll want to know. To maximize earnings (and avoid a ticket), it’s important to understand how to navigate the airport, join the queue, and legitimize your vehicle.
To help rideshare drivers be successful at the Pittsburgh International Airport, we put together this blog post to serve as a guide. The following topics are covered:
- What do you need to know or do before arriving at the airport?
- Do you need any permits to drive there?
- Where is the rideshare waiting area?
- What are the passenger pick-up rules?
- What are the passenger drop-off rules?
- When is the best time to drive at the airport?
- What is the best driving strategy?
Let’s dive in!
What do I need to do before I arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport and enter the airport queue?
To pick up passengers at PIT, you’ll need your trade dress: the Lyft or Uber decal that goes on the windshield of your car.
Uber mails this decal to drivers when you sign up. If you’ve lost yours since then, there’s a couple easy ways to replace it. You can request that a new one be mailed to you, pick one up at your local Greenlight Hub (be wary of recent closures), or print out a temporary version at home.
You can order a Lyft decal from your Dashboard, and print a temporary emblem to use while waiting for yours to come in the mail. Keep in mind that you’ll need two emblems on your car at PIT: one on your front windshield and the other in the back.
Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area?
The Pittsburgh International Airport has one staging area for rideshare drivers, called the Cell Phone Lot and located at a parking lot near the Gas Station on Airport Blvd. Arrive at the staging lot by following signs to Airport Exit / Return to Terminal / Fuel. Then, make a left onto Return to Terminal Rd, drive behind the gas station, and make the first left down the sloped area. Exit the lot via Gate 46 to the front of the gas station.
Once you get to the staging lot you’ll automatically be entered into the airport queue. You’ll be able to check your place in line in the Lyft or Uber app.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers pick up passengers?
The driver who has been waiting the longest time in the staging area gets the next rider request. Make sure not to enter out of driver mode while you wait, or you’ll lose your spot in line!
Once you get a ride, a pin will be placed at the pick-up spot for you to meet your rider. Follow the yellow signs to Door 2-4 of the commercial (purple) curb, where you’ll see signage for rideshare pickups.
It can get tricky, so don’t hesitate to double-check Google Maps and communicate with your rider.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at the Pittsburgh International Airport?
Luckily, dropping off passengers at PIT is a lot easier than picking them up. Just head to the Departures level at the passenger’s carrier of choice.
That’s it- then you’re back on the roads!
When is the best time to drive at the Pittsburgh International Airport?
Turn to your Gridwise app for information about all arrivals and departures at PIT, as well as delays and cancellations.
Typically, midday is the best time for airport driving; most passenger arrivals and departures occur sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
With Gridwise Plus you’ll be able to see airport data 24 hours in advance and 3 hours back, so you can lock in a solid airport strategy the night before you head out.
What airport strategies should I use?
Pick up a passenger on the way to the airport
Count on Gridwise to let you know when there’s a peak in airport departures, so you can hang around near hotels at that time to maximize your chances of an airport ride.
Do not cancel on a passenger after you’ve accepted a fare
If you do, you will be bumped to the bottom of the queue and your wait starts all over again. The good news is that if it’s a short ride, some companies let you jump back in line after you’ve dropped that passenger off.
Be ready to present your waybill
A waybill is essentially a receipt of the last trip you completed. Be prepared to present this to airport officials or law enforcement while waiting for arrivals.
Always be prepared
As always, you never know when law enforcement will show up. Keep your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration handy, and don’t forget to have your placard displayed.
Congrats! Now you’re all set to make some pick-ups and drop-offs at the Pittsburgh International Airport– and maybe catch a Steelers game in between.