Photo by Tony Pierce

LAX to End Rideshare and Taxi Pickups at Terminals

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The new plan for a shuttle service called LAX-it will roll out at the end of October.

It’s always been a hassle to get out of LAX, which is why there’s a long-standing joke that you know someone really loves you if they’re willing to pick you up there.

So when the airport, ranked the fourth busiest in the world, OK’d rideshare services like Lyft and Uber to complement the fleets of taxis, limos and airport shuttle services, it was a game-changer.

Unfortunately, the widespread use of those phone app services also caused more congestion to LAX and some complain they have to wait upwards of an hour to get into a car due to the traffic. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft drivers often wait in a queue in a nearby waiting area for over two hours.

Changes to LAX spelled out. Image courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports.

A change was necessary. Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), who operates LAX, believes the answer is a shuttle. 

Keith Wilschetz, LAWA’s deputy executive director of operations, held a press conference this morning from a lot between LAX’s Terminal 1 and Sepulveda Boulevard where he says thousands of passengers who want to use Lyft, Uber or taxis will be shuttled to starting at the end of October. He says passengers who have landed will collect their bags, use their app to order a ride, hop on a dayglo-green shuttle and arrive at the lot within 15-18 minutes at the longest where their ride will be waiting.

The lot will also have Wi-Fi, phone charging stations, bathrooms and food trucks, and will be ADA-friendly. Dubbed LAX-it, this shuttle service hopes to rid LAX’s congested horseshoe of traffic by about 15,000 vehicles a day. Passenger traffic to LAX has increased substantially; it rose from 59 million in 2010 to 87.5 million in 2018.

In order to keep the shuttles moving quickly around the lower level, the airport will forbid any vehicles from being on the inner lanes other than LAX vehicles like these LAX-it busses. Wilschetz noted that passengers landing in nearby Terminals 1 and 2 who wish to walk to the lot will probably get there in just a few minutes. 

Airport employees will be stationed at all points of the shuttle system, from directing people where to pick up the shuttle to helping them once they’ve gotten off the bus, to directing those who wish to walk to the lot. 

This will only affect rideshare and taxi pickups. Drop-offs will remain the same.

If that special someone who really does love you wishes to pick you up, they can brave the traffic like always. Hopefully, their journey will be a bit quicker.

Los Angeleno