LAX is famous for lots of things: the best planespotting in the world, Mike Kelley’s Wake Turbulence photo, and biblically apocalyptic amounts of traffic. The traffic has always been fairly thick but it’s gotten worse and worse with the advent of Uber and Lyft.
LAX is doing the best it can, and is building a new APM (Automated People Mover) to connect LAX to public transit around Los Angeles. This will be ready in 2023. But the traffic is so bad that, if nothing is done, people getting cars at LAX right now will still be there in 2023.
The solution? It’s imperfect but not unexpected.
Haha LAX made a play on words around a horribly contentious and polarizing political undertaking in another country (wow). Anyway, as of this morning Uber and Lyft drivers will no longer be able to pick you up curbside at LAX, instead there will be a dedicated area next to Terminal 1, which you can access either by walking or by shuttle.
Really? A shuttle? At one of the busiest airports in the world? Won’t this make things worse?
Honestly, it can’t get much worse. LAX has gotten busier over the years, which means there are more private cars. The addition of Uber and Lyft traffic on top of private traffic is just too much. Yes, the shuttle buses will be an inconvenience but it’s better than waiting 35 minutes for my Uber to get me last time I was there (after my first driver got frustrated and canceled the trip.
With one thwack, LAX can get rid of 30% of the car traffic in the “horseshoe” of traffic, and I think they’re making a good call.
Still want to be picked up curbside at LAX?
Per an Uber email I just received, UberBlack and UberSUV can still pick up curbside, but I wonder how long that will last.
How long will the new shuttle thing last?
Until 2023, according to LAX. Or until someone comes up with a better idea. One thing is for sure: LAX is going to keep growing. Hopefully this helps span the gap until things are better in 2023.