HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ride-hailing apps will be allowed to pick up passengers at Honolulu's airport starting Friday — at least for the next three months.
The development is a major change to current policy and angered taxi drivers, who have long argued that ride-hailing companies have unfair advantages over cabs.
At the airport Thursday, taxi drivers stopped picking passengers up for a short period in the afternoon to protest the pilot project.
Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft already have the OK to drop off passengers at the airport.
But under the pilot, the two companies will be able to pick up passengers, too.
There will be two designated pick-up areas on airport property — one across from Lobby 2 at the Interisland Terminal and the other across from Lobby 8 at the Overseas Terminal.
Drivers won't be able to wait on airport property or solicit customers.
"The program provides an additional transportation option for airport passengers," state Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay said.
"We anticipate the service will cut the overall wait times for customers regardless of their preferred transportation choice, especially during peak hours, and the pilot program will help us determine if that is the case. We want this to be successful for all stakeholders, including our passengers and residents."
The state said Uber and Lyft will pay the state Airports Division 7 percent of prearranged trip fares, under the agreement.
Uber said in a news release that uberX drivers will start picking up passengers at the airport Friday morning.
"Oahu residents and visitors will benefit from having another convenient, affordable transportation option at the airport," said Andrew Magaña, senior manager for Uber in Hawaii, in a news release. "This is also something uberX drivers on Oahu have long been asking for, as it will greatly help their business and support the local economy."
Uber said the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is the last of the nation's top 30 airports to allow pickups by uberX drivers.
Meanwhile, Lyft called the pilot program "exciting" and said it will ultimately be a benefit to travelres.
"Passengers across the country have come to expect access to ridesharing during their travels and we're looking forward to providing Lyft to the millions of Oahu residents and visitors who travel through HNL each year," said Kirk Safford, Lyft's senior manager of airports and venues, in an emailed statement.