Today Los Angeles International Airport is introducing a completely redesigned forecourt system. The main reason for the change is the increasing rise of ride-sharing cars causing traffic outside the terminals.
Ask anybody what stands out about Los Angeles, and a large proportion will say “the traffic”. However, there is a special subsection of Los Angeles traffic which is widely regarded as worse than the rest, that is the traffic at Los Angeles Airport. This is something I know all too well, having almost missed a couple of flights due to it!
Los Angeles layout
With a few shortcuts here and there, driving to Los Angeles International Airport is not for the faint of heart. Although it is possible to park off-site at designated parking lots, if somebody wishes to pick up or drop off at the curbside outside the airport, one must venture into the one-way traffic system.
Running anti-clockwise are two loops which pass every terminal in order. While it is possible to take a short cut and miss some terminals, you must travel the whole loop to reach the innermost terminals. This involves going up against other cars, airport buses, car hire and hotel busses, and more recently, the plague of ride-sharing cars operating for Uber, Lyft, and more.
Los Angeles International is introducing a new pickup area to serve the airport. This will be named LAX-it. Located before cars reach the one-way loop, it will mean that ride-sharing cars picking up passengers will no longer be among the traffic circling the airport.
Instead, passengers wishing to use ride-sharing apps such as Lyft and Uber will need to take a shuttle bus provided by Los Angeles International Airport. This will deposit the passengers at LAX-it where they can order their onward connection.
Will it cause chaos?
There’s no way to know for sure whether the change will cause chaos or not, however, I see a likely outcome. The first involves very little chaos in terms of traffic. LAX has been publicly advertising the change on its social media channels for some time now.
The change will almost certainly have been disseminated down to the relevant drivers of each app, so they are all aware of the change. However, it is possible that those passengers arriving at the airport may not be aware of the change. As such, they could potentially be caught off guard, especially if they regularly order ride-shares. One would imagine that each ride-sharing app operator will place appropriate messages within their apps, warning those who could potentially be caught out.
Do you use ride-sharing apps at LAX? Will the change make things better or worse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!