LAX has been forced to add non-custom buses to its LAX-it fleet because of the demand for shuttles to the lot just east of Terminal 1, which debuted Tuesday. As the airport becomes busier as the weekend draws to a close, LAX officials plan to add as many as 44 buses to pick up arriving passengers who need an Uber, Lyft or a taxi ride and take them to the new waiting area. Ride-hails and taxis have been banned from curbside pickups to ease traffic in the airport’s central horseshoe.
“On Sunday, we will have between 42 and 44 buses in circulation,” airport spokeswoman Becca Doten said in an email Friday. "[Twenty-nine] of these current buses are the LAX-it shuttles. The others are airfield buses and circulator buses that have been reassigned ... as we wait on delivery of additional LAX-it shuttle buses.”
Passengers may walk or take the free shuttle to the lot. Most of the green LAX-it buses (pronounced “L.A. exit”) are equipped with a luggage rack opposite the double doors in the middle of the bus. But passenger Robert Grenader arrived at LAX and found one without bag space. “After a two-week trip, I was forced to position my 45-[pound] suitcase right next to my seat, which effectively blocked the aisle.”
As of late Friday, only one bus didn’t have a luggage rack, and it will be taken out of the rotation by next week. Three smaller white shuttles have luggage space in the rear, rather than the middle.
Shuttles run every three to five minutes, using a dedicated traffic lane closest to the lower-level terminals. The inner lane used to be the place where drivers picked up friends and family. Now arriving passengers can only be picked up on the outside median in signed areas in front of terminals
LAX’s traffic-easing plan got off to a rocky start Tuesday when passengers waited as long as an hour for their Uber or Lyft ride. The airport apologized and blamed part of the problem on confusion by ride-hail drivers about where they were supposed to go. Arriving passengers can access the LAX-it lot east of Terminal 1 on foot or by taking the shuttle.