LAX’s new taxi, ride-hailing lot ‘LAX-it’ off to a bumpy start

Oct 30, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The first day of operations at Los Angeles International Airport’s new taxi and ride-hailing pick-up lot began with a few bumps Tuesday.

Despite a smooth start early in the day, the lot — dubbed “LAX-it” — faced a number of teething pains, including “long waits for shuttles, congestion for shuttles to get to LAX-it, and long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at the lot,” Los Angeles airport (LAX) said in a Tweet late in the evening local time on Tuesday.

LAX promised “additional adjustments” to the LAX-it lot, including “signage, wayfinding, traffic routes, and staffing,” to improve the flow and experience for passengers.

Despite the issues travelers faced with the LAX-it lot, which is adjacent to Terminal One at the airport, the goal — to reduce traffic on the roads in front of LAX’s eight terminals — succeeded. Travel time around the terminal area “horseshoe,” as it is known, on the upper level roadway fell by roughly half, and on the lower level by about 15%, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Taxis and ride-hailing services continue to drop departing passengers off in front of their respective terminal. And not all traveler pickups have moved; for example, black car services like GroundLink continue to pick passengers up from the terminal curb front.

Related: LAX to end curbside pickup for taxi, ride-hailing passengers

Vehicles from Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and taxi cabs enter the LAX-it centralized pickup area at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. On Tuesday, Los Angeles International Airport's ban on Uber, Lyft, and taxi curbside pickup went into effect while the airport ramps up work on its modernization program. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Los Angeles International Airport moved all taxi and ride-hailing pick ups to the new “LAX-it” lot on Tuesday. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director of operations and emergency management at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the operator of LAX, told TPG earlier in October that on the worst days it can take vehicles up to 45 minutes to enter and exit the airport terminal area.

Other airports that have moved ride-hailing pick ups away from terminal curbsides have also faced initial challenges. When San Francisco International Airport (SFO) moved Lyft and Uber pick ups to a dedicated area in a parking garage, the airport also saw initial issues with congestion, prompting complaints and frustration among travelers and drivers alike. SFO was able to rectify these issues by opening a second entrance to the pick-up area, as well as a secondary waiting area, for drivers.

LAX shuttle buses, including those to the LAX-it lot and regional services like the FlyAway, appear to have benefited from the move. Los Angeles Times reporter Laura Nelson tweeted she had never seen the inner lanes where buses pick up as empty as they were on Tuesday.

Other travelers, seeing the delays faced by those using the LAX-it lot, touted the benefits of taking the FlyAway bus to those waiting. The buses, in addition to the new dedicated lanes at the airport, can drive in the network of carpool and toll lanes on the Los Angeles area’s freeways, bypassing traffic in many places.

LAX-it is only planned as a temporary solution to reducing congestion in front of the terminals at LAX. The airport will re-evaluate where it locates taxi and ride-hailing pick ups once the under-construction automated people mover — which will stop in front of the terminals as well as at a new transportation center and Metro station — opens in 2023.

Related: LAX Counts Down to Midfield Concourse Opening in 2020

Part of the roadway congestion at LAX comes from the boom in air traffic in recent years. Passenger numbers jumped nearly a quarter over five years to 85.9 million in 2018, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data via Diio by Cirium. Last year alone, passenger traffic rose 3.5% year-over-year.

Airlines have fueled the dramatic growth at LAX by both establishing and growing hubs at the airport. Delta Air Lines, a small player at the airport when it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, established and grew a hub, while Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines have all beefed up their schedules with new flights and destinations.

Featured image by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.