It's about getting even harder to hail an Uber or Lift at Los Angeles International Airport. Vehicles will be banned from pickup outside LAX terminals in accordance with new rules announced by officials on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, passengers who want to be picked up by Uber or Lyft will take a shuttle to a car park next to Terminal 1.
There is a new twist in the increasingly false relationship between airports and app-based car service companies that have added to some of the confusion and congestion in most travel hubs. With more people flying than ever before and a growing proportion of people expecting to use their smartphones to call cars to pick them up, the traffic situation outside the airport terminal has reached a breaking point.
LAX is in the midst of a $ 1
"We understand that trying to get into the central terminal area is a challenge and has been for a long time, and we have been working to make it much better," Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Director of Operations and Emergency Management Division in Los Angeles World Airports, told LA Times . "This is a way we can do it."
Passengers must wait three to five minutes on the shuttle to take them to the nearby parking lot or they can walk, which should take a maximum of 18 minutes, officials say.
Other airports have used similar tactics in recent years. For example, recently the San Francisco International Airport moved almost all passenger collections to the top floor of the main parking garage. Some passengers said the change has made pickups more efficient, even though it involves a longer walk from the gate. Similar changes are expected to take place at Boston's Logan International Airport.
Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have fine-tuned their apps for drivers in the hope of making departure and retrieval more seamless. Both companies have added a feature called rematch that allows drivers who have just dropped off a passenger, pick up a new customer without leaving the airport and wait in an area outside the venue.
To avoid situations where passengers jockey to find the right vehicle, both companies have experimented with giving their customers a code that they can give to any Uber or Lyft driver waiting in line, instead of searching after a particular vehicle – much like a traditional cab line.
"We have been working closely with airport management regarding the impending infrastructure projects taking place at LAX," said a spokesman for Lyft. "We look forward to continued collaboration on how to best reduce traffic stops, reduce waiting times for drivers and riders, and we are confident that we will continue to offer the best possible pickup and drop-off experience for all Lyft users. ”
Updated October 4, 11:35 PM ET: Added a statement from Lyft.