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LAX to end curbside pickup by Uber and Lyft

An Uber driver at LAX
A car with Uber and Lyft stickers leaves the departures area at LAX. The airport plans to end curbside pickup by the ride-hailing companies at the end of October.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Frequent fliers, beware. Los Angeles International Airport will soon ban ride-hailing companies from picking up passengers outside its terminals, LAX officials said Thursday.

Starting on or about Oct. 29, travelers looking to hop on an Uber or Lyft or a taxis will be taken by shuttle to a parking lot next to Terminal 1, where they can book their rides, said Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director of the Operations and Emergency Management Division at Los Angeles World Airports. Drop-offs at terminals will still be allowed.

The decision is in response to worsening congestion at the airport, which is undergoing a $14-billion overhaul of its aging road network and terminals. In recent months, construction has often required LAX to close some lanes. And because airlines have been adding routes, more people are coming to the airport in general, Wilschetz said. Passenger volume increased from 63.7 million in 2012 to 87.5 million in 2018, according to LAX officials.

The increased use of ride-hailing services has also contributed to the traffic, which sometimes backs up into nearby neighborhoods.

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“We understand that trying to get into the central terminal area is a challenge and has been for a long time, and we’ve been working to make that much better,” Wilschetz told The Times. “This is a way we can do that.”

The news was first reported by Skift, a media company that covers the travel industry.

Passengers will wait three to five minutes for a shuttle, Wilschetz said, and the trip should take no longer than 15 minutes total. The airport plans to reconfigure its lower-level curb to allow shuttle buses to have unimpeded access around the central terminal loop.

Travelers will also be able to walk to the ride-hailing parking lot, officials said. Doing so would take about 18 minutes from Terminal 4, the farthest area from the lot.

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LAX will join other airports that have nixed curbside ride-hailing in an attempt to alleviate traffic. In June, San Francisco International Airport moved all domestic terminal pickups for Uber and Lyft to a central parking lot. Similar changes are also scheduled to take place at Boston Logan International Airport.

LAX officials said more information on the move will be released Friday morning.

Travelers looking for a taxi, Uber or Lyft from LAX will have to take a shuttle or walk to a parking lot next to Terminal 1 to book their rides.


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