ARIZONA NEWS

Waymo expands riderless taxi service at Phoenix airport to general public

Dec 16, 2022, 1:41 PM | Updated: 1:43 pm

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport train station in a W...

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport train station in a Waymo driverless SUV on Dec. 16, 2022. (City of Phoenix Photo)

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — Waymo’s driverless taxi service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is now available to the general public.

The autonomous vehicle company is also doubling the size of the downtown Phoenix service area for its Waymo One ride service.

“The future is here,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said at a news conference Friday after she arrived via Waymo at the 44th Street and Washington PHX Sky Train Station. “Phoenix is the first airport anywhere in the world to have autonomous service bringing people to our airport.”

Last month, Waymo started offering members of its Trusted Tester program service between downtown Phoenix and the train station. The free train runs directly to Sky Harbor’s terminals.

The electric Jaguar SUVs had a Waymo employee in the driver’s seat during the test period, but the vehicles are now making airport runs 24 hours a day with no support staff inside.

Friday’s announcement comes at a time when the city wants to expand its reputation as a place for innovation and just before visitors arrive for the holidays and events such as the Super Bowl, on Feb. 12.

Sky Harbor will soon launch an extension of the PHX Sky Train connecting its two terminals to the rental car center. Travelers have had to wait in lines outside the terminals for courtesy shuttles to get to the rental center.

Waymo One also operates in the East Valley. The service opened two years ago in about 50 square miles in and around Chandler.

Users can hail rides using the Waymo One app, similar to how Uber and Lyft work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Waymo expands riderless taxi service at Phoenix airport to general public