If you work as an Uber or Lyft driver, you’ll get an airport run probably sooner rather than later. It really helps if you can get yourself familiarized with the O’Hare and Midway rules, TNP drop off & pick up locations and their staging lots for TNP drivers. You may get a sizeable fine for dropping off or picking up a rider in the wrong spot at the airport or for disregarding some of their more or less obvious rules.
Common TNP Airport Rules
These are rules that you should obey at both airports (on top of the regular traffic laws):
- display your emblem on the front windshield passenger side
- display the airport placard on the back windshield passenger side
- display the city of Chicago tax emblem/TNP chauffeur license on the dashboard
- drop off and pick up passengers only in TNP designated areas
- keep your vehicle inspection form handy (glovebox)
- wait for a ride in the TNP lot (called the pit by some of the drivers)
- if you are asked to show a waybill by the airport officials, you can find it in the Uber or Lyft app. The waybill is meant to show your last trip, so, if you drive both for Uber & Lyft, make sure you open the app (Uber or Lyft) that you completed the most recent ride with
- only accept ride requests through the app; do not accept hails or cash as payment for trips – there are driver reports about undercover city employees that request cash trips to test rideshare drivers
keep your eyes open for any new traffic signs and accept that shaving a few minutes off of your driving time is not worth paying a $500 fine
O’Hare (ORD) TNP Rules
O’Hare TNP staging lot is located on Balmoral Ave. (click here for directions).
If staging lot is full, you have to leave the airport.
When pulling out of the staging lot, you are not allowed to turn right at the stop sign (there is a sign posted right at the stop sign). This is done to avoid congestion, and you should obey the rule even when you are going to pick up passengers at terminal 5 and even if your default navigation tells you otherwise.
TNP Drop Off At O’Hare (ORD)
Drop off the passenger at the departures level at their choice carrier. Do not wait for another ride at the terminal, drive to the TNP lot.
TNP Pick Ups At O’Hare (ORD)
International Terminal 5
Pick up passengers on the Arrivals level in the designated rideshare/TNP area.
Domestic Terminals 1-3
Pick up passengers from Departures in the designated ridesharing/TNP area.
In case that you wonder what happened to Terminal 4, it doesn’t exist anymore. It operated between 1985 and 1993 as an international terminal. In 1993 Terminal 5 opened at took its place. Terminal 4 was retired after that due to some space and traffic routing issues.
Midway (MDW) TNP Rules
Midway rideshare staging lot is located at 7101 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL (click here for directions). To get there, you have to turn on 72nd street, and the lot is immediately on your left-hand side. Same as with ORD, if the rideshare staging lot is full, you have to leave the airport.
TNP Drop Off At Midway (MDW)
Drop off riders at the departures level at their airline of choice. Follow the signs for the terminal and then departures. Make sure you stay in the correct lane.
TNP Pick Ups At Midway (MDW)
To pick up rideshare passengers at Midway, drive to the Arrival level and take the center lane until you get to door 4. You will see a few signs that mark the TNP (rideshare) pick up area.
Airport rules might seem like a lot to take in at first, but you will know them by heart after the first few trips. Until then, you should bookmark this page or get the Chicago TNP Airport Rules in your email inbox and print it.
I usually like to keep track of how many people are ahead of me in the airport queue and how long it takes to get a ride from the time when I park my car. I do this for a variety of reasons:
- if it takes a very long time, it reduces my average hourly income
- time waiting in the queue at the Chicago airports will reduce the number of available TNP hours of service
- on the bright side, sometimes I use time waiting at the airport to relax, listen to music, read, clean my car, etc.