Los Angeles International Airport, universally known on t-shirts as LAX, is not often ranked as one of the most loved airports in the world. One instant reason for that: insane traffic between terminals. The passenger pick up and drop off area is built like a horse shoe, and you must wait in loads of traffic to go from one terminal to the next, in numerical order, which can take nearly an hour at its worst.
The airport is attempting to change that, but at the same time, they’re instantly ruining the experience for all passengers, with a plan to ban curbside rideshare and taxi pick ups, and instead make people take a shuttle bus to a rideshare and taxi waiting area. And yes, taxis count too.
Hello L.A. LAX soon plans to ban @Uber and @lyft pick-ups at terminals. You’ll have to ride a bus to a central parking lot and meet your driver there. For frequent flyers, (like me!) this is bad news. https://t.co/gRyOVR3lfl
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) October 3, 2019
It’s beyond amusing to think of a Hollywood A-lister hopping on a public shuttle bus and cramming in with the masses for the journey to a central taxi and rideshare pickup area, but it’s a lot less amusing when it’s you. Being able to land and quickly tap a ride, having it meet you curbside right on time is a huge perk of travel in the USA, but LAX Airport is attempting to change that. Traffic has reached new highs, or lows, depending on how you look at it.
On October 29th at 3AM, a ban on curbside pick-ups will take force, and all passengers will be forced to instead wait for a shuttle bus to a centralized ride share area, somewhere far away from the LAX terminals to then connect with their rideshare or taxi driver. Banning rideshare is one thing, but a ban on taxis as well makes this a dumb and dumber situation.
According to Brian Sumers at Skift, the move is in direct response to rapidly growing passenger traffic, with 87.5 million passengers flying through last year, and nearly 26,000 rideshare rides each day.
New Yorkers may remember a similar measure at LaGuardia (LGA), which was in effect while major construction to bring the airport closer to third world standards hampered traffic lanes. It was utter chaos, and loved by quite literally no one. A similar walk still exists, but a walk and a rammed shuttle bus are two very different things.
A ban on taxi and rideshare picks ups is expected to be long lasting, with major construction ahead of the 2028 Olympics forthcoming. In years to come, a tram system is expected to connect terminals seamlessly, but in the hours, days and months before then – it sounds like headaches all around.
All I can say is that it really makes me want to strike gold and use The Private Suite more often. The Private Suite is an entirely separate complex on the other side of the airport, where you clear security in private and then are chauffeur driven in a private car directly to the airport. It beats the bus to the Uber…