However, unlike other airports, it will only allow 'green' vehicles to operate the service in return for a $5 pick up fee for each trip.
The Port of Seattle says that it is launching the one-year pilot programme for Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) at Sea-Tac from March 31 because it "will add choices for travellers while maintaining carbon emission reduction priorities".
This innovative programme will be a first for a US airport, requiring either a green vehicle-only fleet or a port-initiated green standard that companies must meet through a combination of high MPG vehicles, deadhead reduction, and/or ridesharing.
TNC’s are being encouraged to sign agreements with the port, who will have operation logistics ready and available on March 31.
"Sea-Tac Airport was the first airport in North America to achieve a 100% green taxi fleet in 2003 and the first airport in the country to do a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory in 2008,” says Port of Seattle Commission president, John Creighton.
“Our agreement with the ground transportation providers requiring them to meet specific environmental standards is also the first of its kind in the country and continues our efforts to make Sea-Tac Airport one of the greenest airports in the country."
The operating agreement has been part of a transparent, year-long effort by the port to bring together all stakeholders in the ground transportation industry to determine the best way to introduce the new ride-sharing option that has become popular with consumers.
Currently, on-demand taxi services are required to meet green fleet requirements of each vehicle meeting 45 MPG or higher and reducing deadheading (or empty vehicle miles).
The pilot with TNC’s will require them to demonstrate an equivalency to these green fleet requirements through a combination of high MPG vehicles, deadhead reduction, and/or ridesharing.
The pilot programme agreement details the operating parameters for ride sharing companies including trip fees, pickup location, technology requirements, green fleet and other details.
With the one-year trial, the airport hopes to gain an understanding of the impact of ride sharing companies within the airport’s ground transportation system.