Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is once again making headlines due to their rideshare ban. This time, however, the question is how the ban is impacting holiday travel. Almost six million people are scheduled to travel through LAX over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Reports of the attitude and status of LAX and travelers suggest there is already growing tension as travelers attempt to navigate the new rideshare system. Travelers who are not familiar with the new LAX-it shuttle service and dedicated rideshare lot are finding it confusing and frustrating. The process is so confusing that local news station ABC7 created a video breaking down the process step-by-step.
In order to schedule an Uber or Lyft ride, travelers must order their ride and then walk 10-15 minutes to the rideshare lot, or wait for a shuttle to come around. Shuttles are already notoriously late and delayed. Once at the lot, travelers must identify the pickup zone and find their ride. Certainly not as simple as exiting the terminal and hailing a waiting vehicle.
What are the Problems with the LAX Rideshare Ban?
One of the main problems with the rideshare ban is that people are waiting an excessive amount of time for rides. This causes congestion in foot traffic and frustration across the board. People who have secured rides often find them cancelled.
Some people report their rides being cancelled multiple times. Why? Possible explanations include the fact that some Uber and Lyft drivers may accept someone immediately available to ride, rather than someone scheduling a ride and suffering through airport delays.
Another possibility is that Uber and Lyft drivers simply cannot afford the amount of time it takes sitting in the parking lot. Current estimates suggest that it takes a vehicle around an hour or more to get out of the parking lot and out of the airport.
One of the groups feeling the most pain this holiday season is students traveling to and from LAX for the holidays. The first woes were felt around Thanksgiving as thousands of students traveled through LAX. Some students reported spending hours waiting for a shuttle, Uber or Lyft to give them a ride home or to campus.