Uber and Lyft Driver Instructions for Portland International Airport (PDX)

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In July 2019, Portland National Airport (PDX) was named the best airport in the United States in a Travel + Leisure poll. This was the seventh consecutive year that the widely popular airport achieved this title. PDX consists of a military airport and a civil airport serving most of the airport traffic throughout all of Oregon.  

There are many ways to expand your rideshare earnings in the Portland area, as rideshare pick-ups at PDX have jumped from 48,000 to 106,000 in the last two years. 

In order to get the most value and earnings from being a rideshare driver at Portland International Airport, you need to know your way around and be familiar with some rules and regulations. To help you out we put together this guide that covers the following topics:

  1. What should you do before arriving at Portland International Airport? 
  2. Do you need any permits to drive at Portland International Airport?
  3. Where is the rideshare waiting area at Portland International Airport?
  4. What are the passenger pick-up rules at Portland International Airport?
  5. What are the passenger drop-off rules at Portland International Airport?
  6. When is the best time to drive at Portland International Airport?
  7. What is the best Portland International Airport driving strategy?

Let’s dive in!

What should you do before arriving at Portland International Airport and entering the airport queue?

The city of Portland requires all rideshare drivers to have a TNC for-hire permit before operating; if you don’t have that yet, you can obtain it here from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. You’ll also need a specific permit from the airport itself. By visiting the PDX website, you can apply for a normal permit or a day pass.  

Once you have the necessary permits, you’ll need your trade dress, which (as you know) is the Lyft or Uber decal that goes on the windshield of your car. Uber sends out this decal when drivers sign up. If you’ve lost yours since then, there are a few 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. 

Where is the rideshare waiting area at Portland International Airport?

There is one staging area at PDX located at 8157 NE Air Cargo Road. Uber and Lyft both use queuing structures that place you in a virtual queue once you enter the staging area. You can see where you’re at in the queue by checking the app(s).

Be sure not to exit the staging area or log out of driver mode in your app, or you’ll lose your spot in the queue. And if the staging area is full, you must leave the airport.  

What are the passenger pick-up rules at Portland International Airport?

The driver who has waited the longest will receive the next rider request. Once you receive your request, you can pull into the Uber, Lyft, or Wingz pick-up zone, which are all located on the lower level on Island 2. The Uber and Wingz pick-up zones are closest to the parking garage, while the Lyft area is closest to the terminal.  

What are the passenger drop off rules at Portland International Airport? 

Dropping off passengers is even easier than picking them up at PDX. Heading toward the departure area, you’ll use the left lane to reach the Commercial Vehicles area on the upper level of the airport.

Make sure you’re in the designated area when dropping off, as the airport can take action if you are not.  

When is the best time to drive at the Portland International Airport?

You can find airport arrival and departure information for PDX on the Gridwise app in the Airports tab.  

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A huge number of arrivals start coming in around 5:00 pm, making it a great time to go pick up some passengers.  

What are some good airport strategies?

Pick riders up on your way to the airport!

Airports are a great place to make some money with your rideshare apps, but don’t forget to be strategic on the way. Since you’re already making a trip out there, adding another trip on the way can help increase your earnings even more. Hanging around hotels near the airport is a great way to pick up passengers headed for their flights.    

Watch out for short ride bumps

Sometimes you might get a passenger whose destination is only around five minutes away.  Luckily, major rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft give you the option of returning to the airport in a preferred spot in the queue. You’ll receive this as a notification or text message.  

Always be prepared

Law enforcement or the airport’s own officials can show up at any time, so make sure you have your driver’s license, insurance cards, and rideshare decals placed in the proper areas of your car. Also, make sure you have your permits required by the city.

Now you have all the right information to start maximizing your earnings at the Portland International Airport.

Have fun!

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