My favorite Law is Raising its Head Again…


My favorite Law is Raising its Head Again…

I live in the belly of the beast. LAX is a traffic disaster and although the airport is working to alleviate the problem, it will be a few years before  change will be felt. I’m sure that by the mid 2020s, much of the issue will go away with people movers, off airport auto rental centers, and passenger drop off facilities combined with new metro lines making it easy and convenient for passengers outside the airport proper.

In the meantime, the planners have come up with a scheme to take between 500 and 1000, Taxi, Uber and Lyft cars an hour out of the ‘horseshoe’ and move them to a near by parking lot. To reach it, you can walk – not far from one terminal, quite a hike from others – or take a dedicated shuttle. The airport says that you can be on your way in less than half an hour, less than the sometimes hour it takes now.

Uber says that the plan will cause more congestion around the new pick up point and other unintended consequences. Fair enough.

I sympathize with the airport. They are trying to do something.

The question is: “Why do I take a taxi, or TNC in the first place?” For me the answer is convenience.

I have just arrived off a six hour flight – I have walked from my plane to the street. In some cases I have stopped in the baggage claim area to pick up my suitcase. Frankly, I want to meet my driver, have him/her help me with my bag, and sit in the back of the car until I get home when I will walk a few more feet to my living room and a glass of adult beverage.

What I do not want is to schlep my bags on to a shuttle, ride for 10 minutes, then climb off the shuttle, walk across a waiting area, try to find my tax/uber/lyft driver, then head off home. If I wanted to do that, I could have driven my car to the airport.

Most of the off airport locations have valet services that bring my car to the off airport shuttle stop, take care of the charges in advance, and hand me a water to drink on my drive home.

This extra step has taken away the reason why I took Uber in the first place.

I understand the issue as far as the airport is concerned, but have they really looked at their traffic. Removing cars is going to help, but frankly the traffic appears, at least to me, to be buses, vans and shuttles with privately owned vehicles lost in the milieu.

So not only are the arriving passengers being inconvenienced, but the airport is ADDING shuttle traffic to the mix.

I realize that I know nothing, but the law of unintended consequences is going to kick in and its just possible that this will be a boon to off airport parking operations. If they can keep their service bar set high, my guess is that their vans will be full again, and the TNC business will drop.


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John Van Horn

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