As Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) ramps up work on its modernization program, the airport today announced plans for “LAX-it,” a convenient, amenity-rich, centralized area for guests to pick up a taxi or ride app service, and avoid traffic in the Central Terminal Area (CTA). LAX-it will open at the end of October, and will remain in service until the Automated People Mover opens in 2023.
LAX-it will only be for pickups, as ride app and taxi drivers will continue to drop off passengers at the terminal curbs on the Upper/Departures Level.
“Anyone who has come to LAX knows that traffic in the Central Terminal Area can get rough, and we have heard from our guests that the current system with ride pickups can be frustrating,” said Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Executive Director for Operations and Emergency Management, Los Angeles World Airports.
“LAX-it will provide an easy, efficient experience for guests using taxis and ride apps and reduce overall traffic in and around the central terminal area for all those driving to and from LAX and our neighbors.”
LAX-it is located just east of Terminal 1, at the corner of World Way and Sky Way. Accessible by either a short walk from many terminals or via a dedicated shuttle from the airport’s terminals, LAX-it will reimagine the pickup process for taxis, Uber, Lyft and Opoli with additional amenities such as restrooms, benches, umbrellas for sun and rain protection, and local food trucks. LAX-it will also offer connectivity, with cellphone charging stations and Wi-Fi. Dedicated staff at LAX-it will provide passenger assistance and lane management on site.
The shuttles will operate in a dedicated lane on the lower/arrivals level where they will not compete with other airport traffic and will take guests from any terminal to the new pickup area. Shuttles will come every 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours.
They will make a maximum of 2 stops before heading to LAX-it. LAX staff will be available at each shuttle stop to help with wayfinding, questions, luggage loading and assistance for guests with disabilities.
The new shuttles and LAX-it are designed with people with disabilities in mind and go beyond regulatory compliance to be ADA-friendly. Customer service agents at each shuttle stop who will be trained to offer (and call) our LAWA ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) shuttle or to provide assistance boarding our ADA compliant LAX-it shuttle if they prefer. At LAX-it, crosswalks are built at grade, restrooms allow for easy access without ramps, and an adult-changing station is available on site.
The new pickup area comes just as construction within the CTA on the Automated People Mover, terminal redevelopment, and other projects reaches a critical phase. At the height of construction, the airport projects the loss of 30 percent of the inner-lane curb space that is currently used for passenger pickup and drop off
As the number of guests using LAX has risen, so has the vehicle count in the CTA. Switching to a central pickup point is expected to remove about 15 percent of all vehicle traffic from the CTA. Without this change, the traffic in the CTA would continue to become more congested, with increasing impacts on neighboring communities as a result of traffic backing up on surrounding access roads.
With the opening of LAX-it, both guests who are using taxis or ride apps for pickup will have a better experience, while those who are being picked up by friends or family, or taking other shuttle buses to their destination, will benefit from the reduction in traffic within the CTA.
This is the latest in a series of measures LAX is taking to reduce the impact of traffic while work continues on a $14.3-billion capital improvements program that includes modernization of all nine terminals, construction of the new Midfield Satellite Concourse, and a new 2.25-mile Automated People Mover with a total of six stops, including a Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility, two intermodal transportation facilities, and connection to the regional rail system.