UberX given the green light to pick-up passengers from Sydney Airport
Passengers arriving at Sydney Airport can now legally be picked up by on-demand car service UberX from the free public pick-up zones at the domestic and international terminals.
This move comes ahead of a dedicated zone for Uber rides, which are not seen as a taxi service and therefore are not allowed to pick-up passengers from the airport's taxi stands.
Previous to this, Uber was legal in NSW but had implemented a "geofence" around the airport, which blocked Ubers from being ordered to the terminals. This new move sees Uber implement a "virtual queue" via the smartphone app's booking service. This will ensure that drivers and partners who have been waiting the longest will receive requests first, as opposed to whoever is closest by location which is the normal practice of the service.
Bookings can be made using the app as soon as they arrive at the terminal and riders are provided with full details of the car in order for a smooth pick-up. Uber has advised that due to the 10/15 minute (domestic/international) fee free nature of the public pick-up zone, it advises drivers who may have to wait longer than this period to "do a loop and reenter" the pick-up zone to avoid added fees.
Uber has further issued these guidelines for riders and drivers, recommending that drivers remain in the waiting zone until the passenger calls them to the pickup area.
UberX is one of the most economic options for Uber customers, with a base fare of $2.50 and a charge fare of $0.40 per minute and $1.45 /km. In comparison, a basic taxi will charge $3.60 for flag-fall and $2.19/km with a $4.10 airport rank fee. For example, a ride from the domestic airport to an Inner West suburb such as Newtown costs around $23 by UberX.