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New rules for Uber/Lyft/taxis pickups at LAX (Oct. 2019)

New rules for Uber/Lyft/taxis pickups at LAX (Oct. 2019)

Oct 29th, 2019, 06:36 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,103
Thanks for the updates, Jean. I will be headed to Tom Bradley this evening to pick up my son, and will see how the traffic is flowing. I'll probably spend the $3 and park and have a cocktail at the bar in the waiting terminal, as son's GF doesn't have trusted traveler.

On KTLA this morning, they showed the new green shuttle buses going round to "LA Exit" (a take off on Brexit?!?), and it looked fairly easy.

At our last neighborhood council meeting, we had people working on the LAX people mover project present, and one of the questions I had related to personal pick-ups curbside and persons with mobility issues. We were told that the curbside lane would be solely for the buses, and personal pick-ups would take place on the strip on the left side with the big numbered columns that separate terminal access from the main circular lanes that takes vehicles around LAX. My concern was that this strip (from past experience) was way too narrow and difficult to navigate for people with a lot of luggage and/or mobility issues. I was "assured" that this strip had been widened 3 feet to accommodate, and there would be a LOT (yeah, sure) of traffic controllers to aide and assist passengers to get safely across the lanes between the sidewalk curbside and the pick-up strip, with cut-outs for wheel chairs and luggage, and striping. We shall see.
Surfergirl is offline  
Oct 29th, 2019, 07:30 AM
  #22  
 
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Please report back, I'm picking up a friend on Nov 2. Will probably just stay nearby at a friend's in Manhattan Beach until I see that his flight has landed.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 29th, 2019, 11:04 AM
  #23  
 
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Will do. I may also check out the newer entry to the airport southbound on Sepulveda instead of getting into that horrendous southbound line where Lincoln meets up with Sepulveda, since I'm not headed for Southwest in Terminal 1.
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Oct 29th, 2019, 05:45 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Please report back, I'm picking up a friend on Nov 2. Will probably just stay nearby at a friend's in Manhattan Beach until I see that his flight has landed.
I live in (north) Manhattan Beach. If we're picking someone up, we don't leave for LAX until they call us when the plane has parked and doors are open. If they have checked luggage, and it's not rush hour or raining, we might wait another 5 minutes. I would rather they wait 5-10 minutes than me have to circle around. And around.

Surfergirl, I had the same concerns about those "islands" and all the luggage. The sidewalk outside the terminals where people have waited in the past must be 10+ feet wide. I think lots of people will still wait on the terminal side and cross over only when their pick up arrives. It sounds like the bus lane won't be continuously occupied (but who knows). IMO, it's easy for the arriving people to tell us which lettered column they're standing next to on the terminal side. On the other side they'd just be lost in the crowd.

FWIW, the interviews with travelers at LAX this morning were mixed. About half (maybe a little more) thought it was better than the old system, but the evening news is showing long lines, at least for Uber/Lyft. The news says the waits for Uber/Lyft are 30-40 minutes (no mention of taxi wait times), but I know waits under the old system could be upwards of an hour. The loudest gripes, no surprise, are coming from the drivers and not the riders. One quick comment by a reporter seemed to indicate that if you paid for Uber Black or the premium Lyft (whatever they call it), you can still be picked up at the arriving terminal. Hmmm. That should be double-checked.

FWIW#2, the traffic behind the news reporters looked markedly reduced at 5:30 p.m. than what I would expect to see.
Jean is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 08:34 AM
  #25  
 
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Oh dear. It was a (insert word) - fest at the airport last night. Maybe it was because it was the first day (but I don't think so) and all of the signs have changed and channeling in and out of the airport have changed, so frequent users have to retrain their brains on how to get in and get out. You know, which lane you need to get into or out of to get to a parking structure or out of the airport; which lane to get to Sepulveda or Century Blvd. -- oh my. It was a nightmare.

The worst was getting out of the NOW AUTOMATED and more costly parking structures after picking up friends, family, in lines that all blend together. Then trying to squeeze all of these cars. It was absolutely packed from Tom Bradley to the exit at the end of P7. And all the exit signs have changed, meaning you have to try and cross 4 or 5 lanes to get to the lane you need to be in, like trying to stuff a sausage. It took us 15 minutes to get OUT of the parking structure because the exit lane blended into traffic circling the horseshoe. Then another 40 minutes (yes, I am serious!) from the TBT to the exit at the end of P7, with people losing their temper and vehicles trying to pull in front of you to cross other lanes.

Meanwhile, the bus lanes circling curbside were absolutely EMPTY. Oh, and by the way, those green buses that are supposed to come to take passengers to the taxis and ubers? All in the UPPER LEVEL (departures). With no signs directing passengers to the upper level.

And the "enlarged" or "widened" medians for passenger pickups? Nope. They used temporary concrete and plastic crash barriers! I'm posting one clear picture and one blurred picture of this.

The line to get into the airport on Sepulveda at Lincoln was huge. We tried that second method of continuing on, and it proved to be a lot better, although the light wait time was pretty lengthy, and you had to mind all of the new signs and flashing changing message signs.

And this was on a Tuesday evening, when it's generally a piece of cake to get in and out.

Jean, you will no longer have the opportunity to "circle around" because by the time you do, you'll have had your passenger waiting for you for over an hour. And if you wait until they are out, unless they are in T-1 or T-2, they will be waiting an hour for you to get to them!

I think that perhaps dropping off and picking up on the departure level MAY be a little better (pre this change, it was not), but I don't know until I try it. Well, I'll be headed back in 2 weeks to take husband and son to the airport, and I'll try that. Or just drop them off at the parking spot on Sepulveda and let them take their bus in.

It was definitely a few hours of my life that I'll never get back! The only upside was that the bartender at Bradley knew me and saved my spot at the bar.

Surfergirl is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 10:27 AM
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by 5alive View Post
More reasons to fly to Burbank!
|The entrance to the Burbank airport is directly across the street from the Burbank METRO/Amtrak station. Depending on where you are headed, it is much easier to get a rental car at BUR than the zoo of LAX.
tomfuller is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 11:50 AM
  #27  
 
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Good lord, thank you for posting. I think I''ll ask my friend if he minds going up to the Departures Level. I hadn't intended to park anyways.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 12:17 PM
  #28  
 
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My wife flew back into LAX last night, and took an Uber. Here are some thoughts/details from her:

The biggest hassle seems to be that people have to take the additional step of hauling all their stuff to a separate location (the LAX-it terminal). Fortunately, wife flew into T-7 and had just a small carry-on, so it was relatively easy for her to walk from T-7 to the LAX-it terminal. But if one has a lot of luggage and/or is arriving at a far-away terminal (TBIT / T-4), it would be much more of a hassle.

To request an Uber, you launch the app, and it spits out a unique code that you give to your driver. You go to the LAX-it terminal and get in the Uber line. Uber drivers pick up Uber riders in the order of the line, and drivers and riders aren't pre-paired up with each other. The next rider in the line simply gets the next driver. The rider gives the driver the code, and off they go.

At about 9pm, she had to wait about 15 minutes in the Uber line to get into a car. The dispatchers seemed fairly disorganized and weren't quick at getting people into cars and getting the cars out ASAP. Hopefully they'll speed up their efficiency.

There's no advantage/disadvantage to requesting the Uber as soon as your plane lands; your place in the physical line determines your when you'll get your Uber.

The new system is very different than the previous system where you're already paired up with a driver and have to find him and look for his license plate. In a sense, it's much more convenient and efficient. In essence, the Uber line is basically a pre-paid taxi line, if that makes sense.

There are 4 separate rider lines in the LAX-it terminal. Two for Uber, one for Lyft, and 1 for taxis. But all the drivers waiting to come into the LAX-it terminal are in the same holding pattern. Uber drivers apparently hate the new system, because they have to now deal with long waits as the taxi drivers do, where previously they could just get a ride by driving around the horseshoe.
LAX_Esq is online now  
Oct 30th, 2019, 01:51 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Maybe it was because it was the first day (but I don't think so).

You expected things to go easy-breezy on the first day of these new procedures?

Oh well, they've got 3 weeks to fix the cogs in the wheel before the big Thanksgiving nightmare.

Also, you said that all the Uber shuttles are up on the departures level? So how is the Arrivals level adversely effected compared to the old system? I guess I'm not understanding why you'd want to drive to the Departures level next time if that's where all the mess is?

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Oct 30th, 2019 at 02:03 PM.
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Oct 30th, 2019, 02:17 PM
  #30  
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Surfergirl, for your return to LAX in a couple of weeks, consider dropping your passengers at the Green Line station at Aviation/Imperial where they can board the LAX shuttle. We've done that during the holiday crush and it lets you avoid Sepulveda altogether. If they're flying Southwest, I'd drop them at the Hyatt Regency and let them walk a block from there. If circling around for a pick-up continues to be too time-consuming, I'd make one pass and then tell them to meet me at the Green Line station. IMO, if you're giving someone a free ride and dealing with L.A. traffic, unless they're physically impaired, they can go to a little effort. I'm not in the limousine business.

But I think things will improve. As we know from just the Fodors Forum layout, nobody likes change.
Jean is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 07:45 PM
  #31  
 
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Thanks for the good advice, Jean . . . That station is south of the airport, so further from my starting point (Westwood/Rancho Park), and closer to you, since I think you're in the South Bay area. That said, I suspect it would be a lot quicker (for me, anyway) to do that and let husband and son make the little effort, as you say!

Clark, regarding your query on the adverse effect to the arrival level, it's not the green shuttle buses that muck up the arrivals level, it's the construction prep for the people mover in the middle of the horseshoe that both narrows by taking out lanes by the parking structures, and the reimagination of the maze drivers go through in the process of exiting the airport, along with the cut through midway on the T1-3 side for vehicles to exit out. Instead of that middle exit (this is hard to explain) where a car might travel from T-1 (Southwest) into that cut-through exit, then turn left and pass the old restaurant to get to the exit just after T-7, they are rerouted to the middle of the southside (around P-5) and have to fight to get into the jammed lanes by T-5.

As for the shuttle situation:
https://abc7.com/travel/lax-ride-share-ban-travelers-livid-after-getting-stuck-for-in-shuttle/5659859/
Surfergirl is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 08:54 PM
  #32  
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The Green Line station is only one longish block south of being due west of the airport. It's at the corner of Aviation/Imperial Hwy. Imperial is the southern boundary of LAX, and Aviation is the eastern boundary.

But if you're dropping off, you might want to chance the Departures Level (assuming news reports indicate general improvement in the system). Just don't do it on a Friday or Sunday.

I understand your description of the changes in the shortcuts to exit LAX. I've driven to/from LAX several times this year, and I think things were different every time.
Jean is offline  
Nov 1st, 2019, 12:05 PM
  #33  
 
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Oh, and by the way, those green buses that are supposed to come to take passengers to the taxis and ubers? All in the UPPER LEVEL (departures).

This is incorrect, and also contradicts what you said in post #31.

Confusing.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Nov 1st, 2019, 05:28 PM
  #34  
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Hmmm, I didn't see that earlier. Yes, confusing. There is absolutely no mention anywhere of any changes on the Departures (Upper) Level other than the removal of the Uber/Lyft waiting areas.
Jean is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 08:49 AM
  #35  
 
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Clark, you are right. I erroneously assumed pick up was from upper level because the entire time we were there (2 hours total), we did not see ONE of the green buses using the curb-side bus lane. Every OTHER color bus, but NOT the ones that take you to the uber/taxi parking area. Since the advert by LAX peeps assured one would be at a terminal every five minutes, and we saw no green buses (my husband was looking for them), we concluded they must be on the upper level.

Sorry for the misinformation.
Surfergirl is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 08:53 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
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I live in (north) Manhattan Beach. If we're picking someone up, we don't leave for LAX until they call us when the plane has parked and doors are open. If they have checked luggage, and it's not rush hour or raining, we might wait another 5 minutes. I would rather they wait 5-10 minutes than me have to circle around. And around.

Surfergirl, I had the same concerns about those "islands" and all the luggage. The sidewalk outside the terminals where people have waited in the past must be 10+ feet wide. I think lots of people will still wait on the terminal side and cross over only when their pick up arrives. It sounds like the bus lane won't be continuously occupied (but who knows). IMO, it's easy for the arriving people to tell us which lettered column they're standing next to on the terminal side. On the other side they'd just be lost in the crowd.

FWIW, the interviews with travelers at LAX this morning were mixed. About half (maybe a little more) thought it was better than the old system, but the evening news is showing long lines, at least for Uber/Lyft. The news says the waits for Uber/Lyft are 30-40 minutes (no mention of taxi wait times), but I know waits under the old system could be upwards of an hour. The loudest gripes, no surprise, are coming from the drivers and not the riders. One quick comment by a reporter seemed to indicate that if you paid for Uber Black or the premium Lyft (whatever they call it), you can still be picked up at the arriving terminal. Hmmm. That should be double-checked.

FWIW#2, the traffic behind the news reporters looked markedly reduced at 5:30 p.m. than what I would expect to see.
sshojib is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 08:54 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
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Thanks for the updates, Jean. I will be headed to Tom Bradley this evening to pick up my son, and will see how the traffic is flowing. I'll probably spend the $3 and park and have a cocktail at the bar in the waiting terminal, as son's GF doesn't have trusted traveler.

On KTLA this morning, they showed the new green shuttle buses going round to "LA Exit" (a take off on Brexit?!?), and it looked fairly easy.

At our last neighborhood council meeting, we had people working on the LAX people mover project present, and one of the questions I had related to personal pick-ups curbside and persons with mobility issues. We were told that the curbside lane would be solely for the buses, and personal pick-ups would take place on the strip on the left side with the big numbered columns that separate terminal access from the main circular lanes that takes vehicles around LAX. My concern was that this strip (from past experience) was way too narrow and difficult to navigate for people with a lot of luggage and/or mobility issues. I was "assured" that this strip had been widened 3 feet to accommodate, and there would be a LOT (yeah, sure) of traffic controllers to aide and assist passengers to get safely across the
sshojib is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 09:09 AM
  #38  
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Good luck! Let us know how it goes....
Jean is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 12:02 PM
  #39  
 
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LAX is saying that the number one problem on day one was that Uber and Lyft drivers had no idea where to go, and that this problem will take a few days to sort out but is already much better on day three.

clarkgriswold is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2019, 02:09 AM
  #40  
 
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Picked up friend today at about 12:30 pm @ departure level T 4 at curbside. No unusual backups. Was even waved off once and second loop was easy mostly #2 lane. AA Priority was a our pickup landmark. Took me 30 minutes from Manhattan Beach near Sand Dune Park to get to T4. Moving Ubers/taxis out of central terminal may actually have helped upper level circulation.

We had a bite after at The Habit in El Segundo and stumbled onto Shift Brewery El Segundo @ Sepulveda.

Last edited by mlgb; Nov 3rd, 2019 at 02:48 AM.
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