LAX Shuttle

Update 10/21/19 6:11 p.m.: This article has been updated. It originally stated that a similar program to LAX's LAX-it plan is in place at Portland International Airport (PDX). PDX actually uses a separate system which is not similar to LAX-it. The article has been updated to reflect these changes with additional attribution

With the holidays around the corner and peak travel seasons on the way, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has announced that it will no longer allow taxis or rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft to pick up travelers from the arrivals area. The ban will go into effect on Oct. 29, a little less than a month before Thanksgiving break at LMU.

Travelers flying into LAX will have to take a shuttle to a separate parking lot near Terminal 1, called “LAX-it,” according to Forbes. The shuttles are expected to arrive every three to five minutes. However, travelers also have the option of walking to the parking lot, which is about a 20-minute walk from the farthest terminal, according to Forbes.

This new policy is expected to reduce airport traffic, which has dramatically increased in the past few years due to the popularity of rideshare vehicles crowding the pick-up lanes, according to Forbes.

Students who utilize rideshare apps are not looking forward to this new policy. Noah Bradley, a sophomore theatre arts and international relations double major from the Bay Area says he is reconsidering his travel options. “This is definitely making driving seem like a better option.”

Matt Lamantia, a sophomore film and television production major, is not looking forward to the change.“I actually kind of understand it, but that doesn’t make it good,” said Lamantia, “That sounds like a terrible idea. I guess I’ll have to see how it works.”

Uber has shared its concerns for the new program. In a letter from Uber Global Security to Angela Jamison, the program manager of airport operations and emergency management at LAX, Uber called for a “complete test run prior to opening day” and expansion of the rideshare lot. Currently, the lot is allocating 37 spots for Uber, according to the letter.

According to the same letter, Uber sees 500 pickups per hour on average and 1,000 pickups per hour at peak travel times at LAX. At Portland International Airport (PDX), the letter says, Uber is allocated 16 stalls for less than 200 pickups per hour at the peak times. In the letter, Uber said that its level of service would be “poor” if LAX does not expand the lot size significantly.

Madison Chang, a sophomore screenwriting and environmental studies double  major, says that she has strongly relied on Ubers to get back to LMU from LAX. “[I feel] a little nervous because I know there’s a lot of people that take Uber from LAX, so the fact that there’s only [37] spots gives me no guarantee that I’ll [get] one of those spots.”

Chris Wilson, a freshman accounting and management major, shared his thoughts about the lot set-up. “That’s not cool. I’m not a fan,” said Wilson. “I mean traffic just sucks, but that’s because the roads here are not built properly, it’s not because there are too many people driving [for] Uber, so they’re missing the problem.”

LMU’s next break is Thanksgiving from Nov. 27-29. For students returning to campus, the busiest travel day is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to ABC 7.

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Grace McCauley is a sophomore journalism major from Evanston, IL. She enjoys spending time on twitter, and listening to the masterpiece that is Chief Keef's "Love Sosa".

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