After a chaotic week, LAX to expand Uber, Lift and taxi pickup a lot

After days of complaints about long lines and long waiting times, Los Angeles International Airport will significantly expand the new pickup lot for Uber, Lyft and taxis, officials said Monday.

The change comes six days after the nation's second busiest airport banned Uber, Lift and taxi pick-up from the front and moved them to a new pickup area called "LAXit" (pronounced "LA Exit"). Travelers must board a shuttle or go to the pickup area to take a ride.

The rollout of the system was rocky, leaving some travelers facing gridlock, packed shuttles and long waits for high season tours. Officials later apologized for the delays, which they described as "unacceptable."

The pickup area will expand at 3 a.m. Wednesday, increasing the space for cars and people in the party by about half, airport officials said.

Lyft's cars will move into the expanded area, and Uber will take over Lyft's former territory in the original lot. Taxis will also have extra space to load passengers, officials said.

Airport officials said in a statement that the extension was a "pre-planned emergency response to provide rapid response to changing traffic patterns and behavior." The hope, they said, is that the changes will allow Uber and Lyft to "more consistently supply cars and drivers."

Before the new system was launched, Uber officials warned that the party did not have enough capacity and could lead to long lines and traffic jams. [1[ads1]9659002] Uber, Lyft and taxi pickup were banned from the curb in an attempt to address the notorious congestion in horseshoe shaped terminal road.

The relocation was necessary, the airport said, because an increase in passenger travel and two major construction projects – an overhaul of the aging airport and the construction of an airport train – would cause significant closures on the curb and runway.

The first Sunday night in the new system, Airp Officials said they observed "significant improvement" in terminal and surrounding traffic compared to last week, despite a slight increase in passenger travel.

The pickup system will remain in place until LAX finishes building the elevated airport train, known as a people-mover, which is scheduled to open in 2023. It will arrive every 2 minutes and will whip passengers between terminals , a car rental facility, a ground transportation hub and a subway station. [19659012] window.fbAsyncInit = function () {
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