Taking a Lyft, Uber or taxi from Los Angeles International Airport is about to get more complicated.
Starting at 3 a.m. Oct. 29, taxi and ride-hailing services will be barred from picking up passengers at LAX terminals. Instead, passengers will have to take a shuttle bus to a nearby parking lot, called LAX-it, to pick up a ride.
Here's how it will work.
- The shuttles will use a dedicated traffic lane in the terminal area.
- Passengers shouldn't have to wait more than five minutes for a shuttle.
- The ride to the LAX-it lot will take up to 15 minutes.
- The remote lot will allow exits to Sepulveda Boulevard.
- It remain in effect until a new automated people mover goes into service in 2023.
Ride-hailing services are currently permitted to pick up and drop off passengers at designated locations on the airport's upper/departure level. Dropoffs in the terminal area will still be permitted.
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Uber issued a statement saying it has been working with airport officials to prepare for the lot's opening, and it still has some concerns that it hopes are ironed out.
"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 (Los Angeles World Airports) and will continue operating at the airport," according to Uber. "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."
The Taxi Workers Association of Los Angeles sent a letter to airport officials critiquing the plan, saying the taxi industry has already been "decimated" by the "unfair and predatory competition" by ride-hailing companies, and forcing taxis out of the terminal area "is likely to deal a mortal blow to the industry teetering on the verge of collapse."
"Our analysis of the data shows that the current plan is unlikely to achieve stated goals and that this decision will disadvantage large groups of travelers, including those who are disabled, and is unfair to taxicab drivers," according to the association.
According to documents obtained by the travel reporting website Skift, LAX's airline passenger traffic rose from 59 million in 2010 to 87.5 million last year, and the impact of ride-hailing traffic has contributed to growing traffic in the Central Terminal Area.
According to Skift, roughly 26,000 ride-hailing vehicles used the airports roadways each day in August, accounting for about 27% of all commercial traffic at the airport.