Travelers through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), know negotiating of one of the busiest airports in the world takes some level of skill—or luck. Starting Oct. 29, new traffic mitigation measures could require more adjustments.
LAX recently announced that curbside pickups i.e. Uber, Lyft, etc. will not be allowed at the main terminals. Ride-share cars will be permitted in their own designated area in an attempt to ease congestion and keep cars moving (some have reported 2 hour waits to get out of the current pick-up area). The change will create a dedicated lane for shuttle buses on the lower arrivals level that will take passengers to a new pick-up lot, called “LAX-it” where the taxi or ride-share travelers booked after picking up their baggage will be queued up. LAX-it will include amenities such as food trucks and toilets—because it is L.A.
According to Forbes, the shuttles are scheduled to arrive every three to five minutes during peak hours. LAX staff will be available at each shuttle stop to assist you. And if you don’t want to wait for the bus, or if you’d like to stretch your legs after a 12-hour flight, you’re welcome to walk to LAX-it. The lot, adjacent to Terminal One, is said to be around twenty-minutes or less by foot.
Although some have complained about the shift, Lyft has officially welcomed the change. “We have been working closely with the LAX airport leadership and we look forward to continued collaboration with the Airport leadership on how to best reduce terminal congestion, lessen wait times for drivers and riders, and provide the best possible pick up and drop off experience for all Lyft users,” a Lyft spokesperson said.
Uber is not as on-board. The company has raised questions regarding the logistics. According to an Uber spokesperson, their drivers have been allocated 37 stalls for pickups. The company schedules nearly 500 pickups per hour on average at LAX. During peak periods, they reported more than 1,000.
FlyLAX, the airport’s official website, stated that “the shuttle system will be incredibly efficient and reliable.” The statement also said its customers deserve a better experience, and will get one with this new system. Perhaps the scariest thing on Halloween this year will be if the system is a problem rather than a solution.