Airport Director Explains Pick-Up, Drop-Off Reversal to Council in Emergency Meeting

Airport shuttle driver picking up two passengers with luggage at the curb of an airport terminal.

The director of Cleveland Hopkins Airport apologized to city councilmembers for failing to tell them about a change in the airport’s pick-up and drop-off policy.  Councilmembers summoned Robert Kennedy to an emergency meeting to explain the abrupt reversal, which happened over the weekend.  Many councilmembers told Kennedy they learned about the change through media reports. 

"I just want to, before you go on to the substance of the matter, on the communications, yes, things move fast, but if you can call, you can call me," said Council President Kevin Kelley.

Kennedy and Ed Rybka, the mayor’s chief of regional development, apologized to council members. 

Since Jan. 1, taxis, limos and ride share services such as Lyft and Uber had been prevented from making curbisde drop-offs and pick-ups at the terminal.  They were required to make those passenger connections at the Ground Transportation Center, which has been used by shuttles for hotels and off-site parking for years. The change was put in place to reduce traffic on the terminal's roadways. 

Kennedy told council members Monday that the roadways are still congested.  He said any changes to commercial vehicle drop-offs and pick-ups will wait until improvements to the Ground Transportation Center are finished, sometime next year.  He said construction work will get started in late summer, after Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Cleveland in July.  The project is being done to improve the facility and make it more passenger-friendly, according to Kennedy.

Until then, all vehicles that use the Ground Transportation Center will make curbside drop-offs and pick-ups.  The curbside service returns for commercial vehicles Feb. 18.  Shuttle service will move back to the terminal curb at a later date.  Kennedy said they will stop at a single specified location.  

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