Curbside parking changes at Tampa International Airport

If you are picking up somebody from Tampa International Airport anytime soon, you will see changes at the facility.


Starting Thursday, only vehicles actively loading passengers will be allowed to stop curbside.  Others will be told to keep moving.


It's part of the airport's new Curbside Management Program. Now, you can no longer wait for your guest, unless they get right in. 


Alec Beasley flew in from Houston.  He's originally from Tampa and is all for the changes.  Beasley said,  "If they're coming through, they can get right up to you and you can jump in.  So, I think it's better."


In the past, people could park in the first two lanes, along the arrival curbs, which sometimes caused a mess and a safety hazard.  Christine Osborn, spokesperson for the airport, said, "With our traffic increasing, with the number of passengers, we just can't allow vehicles to park and wait.  Sometimes those lanes, when several flights would come in, would be two, three, four lanes deep." 


If you are looking for other parking alternatives, you can also park in the short term parking garage. It's free if you are there less than an hour.


You can also park in the cell phone lot. It has free Wi-Fi, vending machines, electric-car charging, bathrooms and flight and baggage claim information screens. 


The lot is Rick Mahoney's first choice. He says the food trucks, which will be here for the next 30 days, are also a plus. Mahoney said, "We've been sitting here watching. Everybody seems to like it.  He's making a killing over there. He really is!"


The curbside plan couldn't have come at a better time. TIA officials expect big crowds for Christmas and the New Year.

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