Corralling the Rideshare Herd
The rise of ridesharing has created solutions and problems. Users enjoy having options other than taxis and public transportation. People who want a part-time job driving around strangers are all set. But anybody with a loading zone has problems.
Airports, in particular, have to address the congestion this trend has created on their roads and curbs. The shift in traffic patterns hit short-term parking lots hard, too, as more travelers began to arrive and depart without parking a car for any length of time.
It’s clear why getting a ride to the airport from someone other than a family member or friend can make life easier all around. The people we love and like don’t always have the time to see us off or battle the traveling hordes to pick us up. Since 9/11, our tearful goodbyes and joyful reunions have had to happen outside on the asphalt with cars racing by and security hollering at anybody who stops for an extra hug.
And if we want to talk about why rideshare is more desirable than a taxi, that’s easy, too. An Uber or Lyft driver gets a rating after every trip and is therefore motivated to drive carefully and be polite. The cost is known before the trip starts, payment happens online, and you don’t have that scary timeclock/price counter winding up in your face for the entire drive.
Los Angeles international Airport is undergoing enormous changes. New ramps, new transit options, new parking facilities, and one particular change accommodates the rideshare and taxi crowd. The new LAX-it (pronounced LA-exit, not laxit) is for people leaving the airport by taxi or ride app services (Uber, Lyft, etc).
For those arriving in a private car nothing changes. Personal vehicles can still pick up and drop off passengers in the terminal. Getting to the airport by taxis and ride app services will be the same, and they will continue to drop guests off at the terminal.
Parking at LAX has not changed and all parking lots remain the same. The only thing changing at this time is the location where guests pick up taxi and ride app services when exiting the airport.
My family took a trip to see family in another state and experienced LAX-it for ourselves. Drop off was a non-event – we went straight to the terminal. Our driver said the new arrangement worked well and that seemed like a ringing endorsement.
Coming home, we found a shuttle quickly and got to the LAX-it area. Waited just a bit, and then we were off. It was only as inconvenient as parking in a long-term lot – you know how it is at the end of a long travel day when you add a walk and shuttle time to the journey. Still, a non-event – and in airport terms, that’s a huge success.