Early on the morning of Monday, January 7, the lot which has been assigned to rideshare (Uber/Lyft) vehicles was closed. Uber drivers and other rideshare companies arriving to stage for the collection of inbound passengers were met with yellow construction tape and metal barriers preventing their access to the lot.
The San Diego Airport requires all Uber and other rideshare companies to stage their vehicles through this location. These companies have set up a "first in first out" geofence around the rideshare lot in order to avoid rideshare drivers from parking unlawfully and creating congestion for other airport users. Drivers stage within the geofenced lot, waiting for airport passenger ride requests.
With no notice to drivers of the closure, rideshare drivers began parking within the cell phone lot for the airport, and then overflowing onto nearby access roads.
By 7 am, airport traffic enforcement began arriving, rousting the rideshare drivers out of the cell phone lot. Meanwhile, travelers arriving at San Diego airport, with no knowledge of the staging lot closure, began to see delays in arrivals of vehicles, and surge pricing for rides away from the airport.
With the staging lot closed, rideshare vehicles such as Uber, now have to originate from Point Loma or the downtown waterfront area to service the airport. With no staging area, passengers face longer wait times, and potentially higher pricing.
The staging lot does not affect outbound passengers who are delivered to terminal doors.
Update 1/8/18: The San Diego International Airport has responded via Facebook with this: "This story has several inaccuracies. The rideshare lot at SAN is not closed. It has been re-located just north of its previous location. Rideshare companies were notified of the lot relocation on January 2."
After submission, an alternative lot for the rideshare drivers opened north west of the current lot.
Lyft subsequently sent a corporate text message to all drivers on Monday 7 January 2018, advising of the lot relocation, and that an airport representative will be on site for questions.
On Tuesday 8 January 2018 I drove through the lot twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and no Airport Representative was present.
At 4.06pm Wednesday 9 January 2018, Uber sent an email to all drivers advising of the new staging lot.