You’ve endured your flight and now you’ve sat in a shuttle which has taken you to a parking lot adjacent to the airport. You summon an Uber…and see there is a one-hour wait for a car. Welcome to Los Angeles!
It’s safe to say the first week of the new taxi and ridesharing pick-up lot, dubbed “LAX-it” has been an unmitigated disaster.
Who would have thought that an already-congested airport could get so much worse? But that is exactly what ridesharing users experienced over the last week, with wait times sometimes exceeding an hour.
With demand heavier than forecast and traffic still horrific on the arrivals (lower) level, passengers have experienced long wait times for shuttles and even longer waits for an Uber or Lyft once in the new offsite lot.
As we hit peak Sunday travel times, we are seeing increased passenger demand for ride apps tonight. Please be aware of longer wait times up to one hour currently as some ride apps may not have cars immediately available.
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 4, 2019
Current wait times at #LAXit
Taxis: 25 min
Uber: 30 min
Lyft: 60 min
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 1, 2019
Many have complained not only about the additional delays, but the act of lugging baggage onto a bus and off it, making ridesharing and taxis virtually impossible for senior citizens, those with disabilities, or those carrying too many bags.
It Will Get Better
The good news…at least I hope…is that airport officials have been closely monitoring the situation and pledge that wait times will improve as kinks are worked out of the system.
Already, shuttles are running more frequently and new signs have been erected to reduce driver confusion. Some delays over the last week were due to regular drivers accidentally pulling into the “LAX-it” lot. Many ridesharing and taxi drivers also reported confusion over the new set-up and took wrong turns, forcing a go-around of LAX’s horseshoe-shaped terminal layout.
That will all get better. The numbers will improve.
I’m still not sure the extra shuttle is ideal, but if wait times can approximate what they were before the transition with less traffic for other airport users, I’ll call it a wash…perhaps even an improvement.
And this is all temporary as we wait for the new “people movers” to be begin operation, slated for completion in 2023.
I’ve been home the last week, but will test out the new “LAX-it” system next time I fly into LAX. It has been a rough week and the rollout revealed many issues. Hopefully, for the sake of the visitors to and residents of my city, these issues will be quickly resolved.
What has your experience been like at LAX this week?
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