A new pick-up area for taxi and ride app passengers made its debut at Los Angeles International Airport this week, aiming to reduce vehicle congestion and wait times.
However, with reports of frustrated passengers and drivers, there’s still some bugs to be worked out of the system.
The LAX-it area opened to passengers at 3 a.m. yesterday morning (Oct. 29), offering a “convenient, amenity-rich, centralized area” for taxi and ride app passengers, the airport said, to reduce the number of vehicles in the airport’s Central Terminal Area (CTA) and to help free up scarce curb space during major construction at the facility. Passengers will continue to be dropped off at the terminal curbs on the Upper/Departures Level.
According to a report in the L.A. Times, the first day of operations was marked by confused travellers and drivers unsure of how to find the new area, with dozens of passengers lining up for their rides. Shuttle buses to the new area, which are supposed to stop every three to five minutes during peak hours, were also delayed to an average wait time of 10 minutes, the report said.
Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director at Los Angeles World Airports, was quoted in the report as saying that the agency is still fine-tuning LAX-it, maintaining that simple fixes such as improved signage and smoothing out the queuing process for drivers will improve the experience.
The system will remain in place during major construction at the airport, the report said, until the opening of an elevated airport train in 2023, which will move passengers between the terminals, a car rental facility, a ground transportation hub and a Metro station.
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