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New Ride-Hailing Area at LAX, Called 'LAX-it,' Has Rough Opening Day
Laura J. Nelson and Erin B. Logan report on the first day of LAX-it, the new scheme that moves ride-hailing pick ups and drop offs to a location outside the central terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Early reviews show the new arrangement was unpleasant for ride-hailing visitors to the airport:
Even on a low-traffic day, the new pickup system had some growing pains. At points in the early afternoon, the wait time for Uber and Lyft rides swelled, with more than 100 people waiting in each line for their drivers in the pickup lot.
Travelers spent an average of 10 minutes waiting for the shuttle, boarding and riding it to the pickup lot on Tuesday, airport officials said. It took an additional eight minutes for travelers to get in a taxi and pull away from the curb; for Uber and Lyft, that time was 18 minutes.
Airport planners promise that easy fixes will improve the "LAX-it" experience, but meanwhile there were plenty of anecdotes from upset Uber and Lyft users on the first day of the new operations. Nelson also provided an explainer of the new LAX-it operations on the morning of the big day.
Meanwhile on Twitter, Nelson also provided an anecdote on the other side of the equation, where buses and shuttles appeared to be running smoothly and unencumbered by the crush of motorized humanity that has come to define the LAX terminal area experience.