Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, a ride-hailing company has been given the green light to pick up passengers at Chicago’s airports and McCormick Place, the city announced Sunday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said the move “will help ensure that passengers traveling from Chicago’s airports can do so safely and with a variety of options, including the CTA, taxis and rideshare companies.”
Lyft is authorized to begin pick-ups at the airports, according to an announcement from City Hall that did not mention the other major player in the industry, Uber.
An Uber spokeswoman said late Sunday that the company has “provided the city with a request and all the documentation required to launch. We look forward to securing approval shortly so we can help people get home safely from Chicago airports to be with their families this Thanksgiving holiday.”
Ride-hailing drivers are required to register with the Chicago Department of Aviation, undergo airport-specific training and install additional identification signage on their vehicles, according to the city. Those drivers are expected to enter a designated staging area at the airports, and they may only proceed to the terminals to pick up passengers “upon receipt of a passenger request for a ride,” officials said.
Curbside pickup locations have been designated for O’Hare’s domestic terminals on the upper roadway between terminals 1 and 2, and between terminals 2 and 3. For the international terminal, the designated pickup locations are along the lower-level roadway.
At Midway, the designated pickup locations are on the upper level of the airport’s terminal.
The move to allow airport pickups has been bitterly opposed by the city’s cab drivers.