Rideshare Driver Hacks: Picking up Uber/Lyft riders at the airport
If you end up dropping someone off at or near the airport, it’s beneficial to go to the TNC lot and wait for a rider. Here are some things you need to know.
First, the app will tell you that you need to leave the airport to receive rides. Head to the designated TNC lot to be put in a queue of available drivers. The one at SFO is currently off the Millbrae exit. As of Friday, it is going to be off the San Bruno exit.
Once you get to the lot you will be out of the airport range and will be put in a queue to pick up a rider. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not set your destination. If you do, you won’t be put in the queue and will not get a rider. If you have your destination set, remove it via the app. Then you will see the number of cars waiting ahead of you. That’s how you know you are in the queue.
There are porta-potties in the parking lot. The one for men is really gross. They know that and provide one just for women. You have to ask the guard for the key.
When I arrived to the lot, the Uber driver app said there were 150 UberX cars ahead of me. I thought I was going to be there forever but the line moved relatively quickly. It took 28 minutes to be connected to a rider. Luckily the rider was going in the same direction I wanted to go. (You never know at SFO which direction you will be taken. You could end up in the South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, SF or ???)
The app will tell you which parking garage level and zone to drive to. I simply followed all the Uber and Lyft cars from the TNC lot to the garage parking lot and then drove to the appropriate zone. It takes about 10 minutes to get out of the Millbrae TNC lot and to the parking garage. So it is a good idea to send a text that says something like “Hi! Due to traffic, it is going to take a little longer than the app suggests. See you in about 15 minutes!” This is important because riders could get angry otherwise, as the app tells them you will be there in 4 minutes. (Thank you Lyft driver in the TNC lot for telling me this.)
Once you have your rider(s), head out of the parking garage to the freeway. It’s streamlined and easy peasy.
If you are not a Uber or Lyft driver yet, be sure to use an invite code when signing up. The reason is that you will get a BIG bonus when you do. Here are invite codes for Uber and Lyft: