Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images Nobody likes change, not even me. So when I heard last month that Los Angeles International Airport would ban curbside pickup by taxis and rideshare companies, requiring arriving passengers to walk or take a shuttle to a remote “LAX-it” (sounds like exit) parking lot to find an Uber,…


Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nobody likes change, not even me.

So when I heard last month that Los Angeles International Airport would ban curbside pickup by taxis and rideshare companies, requiring arriving passengers to walk or take a shuttle to a remote “LAX-it” (sounds like exit) parking lot to find an Uber, I reacted the way a lot of people do to such changes: by whining on social media.

https://t.co/e7Smw0jQtP— Josh Barro (@jbarro) October 4, 2019 the relative inefficiency of app-based pickup in the airport context, and (in some cases) airport construction projects mean airport roadways are overtaxed with too many cars. Even if you don’t fly to L.A., you should expect a solution like LAX-it to be coming to some of the airports you pass through. And maybe, as LAX refines its much-criticized new system for arrival pickups, your favorite airport will even learn something that makes your arrival less painful. the #laxit hashtag on Twitter you’ll see the ongoing garment-rending over this change, but I took my first trip through the LAX-it on Sunday and it was … fine? I walked out of Terminal 4 at 12:33 p.m. and was in the backseat of a Lyft pulling onto Sepulveda Boulevard at 1:04 p.m. Half an hour to leave the airport campus isn’t great, but traffic jams (caused in large part by Uber and Lyft congestion) often made it time-consuming to leave the airport under the old curbside-pickup system. Kicking so many Uber cars off the airport roadways has made it possible to dedicate lanes to shuttle buses and remove passengers from the terminal area rapidly. the airport has enlarged the LAX-it area by 50 percent, creating more lanes and more pickup spots in an effort to improve throughput and shorten lines. With this enlargement, the lot now has two separate entrances — one for Uber cars and taxis, another for Lyft cars — which is a change that airport officials hope will reduce negative traffic effects in the surrounding area.

Christensen also acknowledged some initial “breakdowns” on disabled access. Airlines are only responsible for escorting passengers with mobility limitations to the curb. With rideshare and taxi pickups no longer happening curbside, the new protocol is supposed to be that passengers with airline wheelchair escorts are escorted to seats on ADA-compliant LAX-it shuttle buses; then, when the shuttles arrive at the LAX-it lot, they are greeted by LAX-it staffers with wheelchairs who escort them across the step-free LAX-it lot to their vehicles. This is a procedure that requires a number of different people and organizations to do their jobs correctly, and on the first day, LAX-it had a wheelchair shortage, which Christensen says they have now resolved.

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It’s Time to Relax About LAX-it

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