Los Angeles International Airport will soon ban rideshare companies and taxis from picking up passengers outside its terminals. The policy is set to take effect Oct. 29. The new policy means travelers wanting to use Uber or Lyft or a taxi will catch a shuttle to a parking lot adjacent to Terminal 1, where they can rendezvous with their rides. Drop-offs, however, will still be allowed at all terminals.
The new policy decision comes as a result of an explosion of traffic around the airport. Congestion has been building just as LAX is in the midst of a $14 billion overhaul of its road network and terminals. Also, as airlines have been adding routes, more people are coming to the airport – volume has increased from 63.7 million in 2012 to 87.5 million in 2018, according to LAX officials.
LAX joins other airports in this move as curbside ride-hailing is eliminated in an attempt to alleviate traffic. In June, San Francisco International Airport transfered all domestic terminal pickups for Uber and Lyft to a central parking area and similar changes are underway at Boston Logan International Airport.
At LAX, passengers can expect to wait three to five minutes for a shuttle for a trip around the airport that should take 10 to 15 minutes. Officials at LAX are discussing plans to convert the airport’s lower-level curb into a dedicated shuttle bus loop to allow the vehicles unimpeded movement around the central terminal loop.
LAX in Motion
By 2023 LAX should have an efficient an automated people mover managing some of its solutions for traffic confgestion. The driverless train will shuttle an estimated 30 million passengers per year among the airport’s terminals and to ground transportation. Currently, the closest rail-based station is nearly three miles away, although buses to popular destinations are available.
While Uber is not happy with the new policies at LAX, they issued a statement of understanding this week: “While we have concerns with aspects of LAX’s plan to move all rideshare pickups to a staging lot, we have shared those concerns directly with (LAX) and will continue operating at the airport. In the meantime, we hope LAX will listen to and incorporate our input so that LAX passengers can continue to access rideshare service in a seamless way.”