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LAX apologized for the catastrophic roll-out of a policy banning Uber and Lyft drivers from picking people up outside the terminal

Business Insider

Via ABC 7 Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) apologized after a new scheme which saw Uber and Lyft pick-ups moved to a lot far from the terminal resulted in delays.
  • LAX-it launched on Monday as an attempt to get people using ride-hailing apps out the airport in 30 minutes, cutting the normal time in half.
  • But there were “long waits for shuttles, congestion for shuttles to get to LAX-it, and long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at the lot,” LAX said on Twitter.
  • Passengers vented their frustrations at LAX on social media, with some saying it took them an hour to get an Uber or Lyft.
  • Uber had warned LAX in advance they expected their “service to be poor” as a result of the new scheme.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has apologized after a new venture banishing Uber and Lyft drivers from pick-ups outside the terminal resulted in “carmageddon.”

A new pick-up zone called LAX-it was introduced several hundred meters from Terminal 1 on Monday to ease congestion, which is served by shuttle buses from the terminal.

But passengers arriving in LA and drivers working for ride-hailing apps said the system was slow, confused, and resulted in long delays and traffic jams.

“We have seen significant challenges at peak time this evening,” LAX’s official account tweeted.

“Those challenges included long waits for shuttles, congestion for shuttles to get to LAX-it, and long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at the lot.”

“Taxis have over-performed all day long, picking up more passengers than usual.”

Nicole Moore, a Lyft driver, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper: “It was carmageddon.”

Erik Newlin, a Dallas resident visiting LA for business, told the LA Times three Ubers cancelled on him as he waited at LAX-it on Monday.

“This has been a complete cluster. It cost me 25 minutes I didn’t have,” he said.

The line for @uber at LAX-it is about 250 people (over an hour long). After waiting 50 minutes for a shuttle to get here. This is the dystopian hell we all asked for. pic.twitter.com/12baXqNNRS— Melissa Rosenthal (@MelisOnCheddar) October 30, 2019

A passenger told ABC 7: “Once you get to the lot, there’s no direction really. There’s a line to get an Uber. What sense does that make?”

Attorney Micheal Avenatti tweeted: “If you thought Trump’s impeachment strategy was bad, you haven’t seen the new s–t show at [LAX] relating to Uber/Lyft.”

a green bus parked on the side of a road

© KNXBaird/Twitter

In the run up to the launch, Uber had told airport officials they expected “service to be poor” and for them to expect traffic jams and long waits.

LAX said the shuttle bus from the terminal to LAX-it would come every 3-5 minutes. Officials said Tuesday the average wait was 10 minutes, the LA Times said.

LAX-it is for Uber and Lyft pick-ups only. Uber and Lyft drivers can still drop off passengers right outside the terminal.

LAX said it would take between 25 to 30 minutes to get out of the airport after leaving the terminal under the new system, but passengers reported it taking far longer.

a screenshot of a video game

© LAX

“It’s our first day doing this and we know we’ve got improvements to make,” LAX tweeted late Monday.

A Lyft spokesperson said: “We’ve been working closely with LAX airport leadership, and we have an experienced team on the ground making real-time adjustments to improve our operations for both riders and drivers.”

Bro this LAX-it shuttle from the terminal to ride share AINT-it— Nate Enthusiasm (@enthuxiasm) October 31, 2019

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