LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Sundays are usually the busiest travel time at LAX, but the first Sunday under the airport’s new rideshare system made it a nightmare as well for many travelers.
The new system bans rideshare vehicles from picking up passengers curbside in front of the terminals. Passengers must now take shuttle buses to the “LAX-IT” lot to get picked up.
Irate travelers told CBS2/KCAL 9’s Laurie Perez that they had to wait over an hour to get picked up Sunday at the “LAX-IT” pick-up lot and then forced to pay “surge” prices by the rideshare companies.
“I been here an hour. I’ve been traveling 15 hours to get here,” said Joe Lyske. “What on earth are they thinking? It’s insane!”
“I just got off an eight hour flight and this is the most outrageous thing I’ve seen in quite a while — and I’ve seen a lot,” said Ben Foster.
But it could be far worse, says LAX Spokeswoman Becca Doten: “We’re building a train through the center of the airport. Traffic would be unbearable if we didn’t do something.”
Doten says the airport is still fine-tuning the rideshare reroute and adding guides to answer questions, more officers to keep traffic moving and enhancing WiFi in the “LAX-IT” lot. They also have a conference call every three hours with the rideshare companies to see how things are going.
“Every day is a learning experience, every day it’s getting better,” Doten said, and added that traffic is about 30% faster on the upper level of the airport.
Passengers are encouraged to check LAX’s twitter account, which routinely posts wait times for Uber, Lyft, and taxis.
The airport apologized for the wait times late Sunday, saying that they are “encouraging our partners to supply the cars to meet the demand for rides so travelers can leave LAX as soon as possible.”
We apologize for the lengthy wait times for some of the providers at LAX-it. We are encouraging our partners to supply the cars to meet the demand for rides so travelers can leave LAX as soon as possible.
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) November 4, 2019