The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is as notorious for bad traffic and congestion as the rest of the city. In an effort to reduce some of the curbside chaos at the airport, officials have placed a ban on curbside ridesharing pickups. Effective October 29th, the new ban means that Uber and Lyft will no longer be able to stop along the curb in order to pick up fares.
Instead, Uber and Lyft drivers are being designated a parking lot just east of Terminal 1. There, rideshare drivers can wait for fares, and passengers will know where to go.
But what does that mean for LAX traffic?
Officials estimate that banning curbside pickup will reduce the amount of traffic passing the terminals by 15 percent. While that sounds good on paper, officials may not have fully accounted for the difficulties the ban could cause. People flying in and out of LAX who do not have vehicles often use rideshare services and call in advance. Without the cars being allowed to wait at the curb, travelers will have to pass their bags onto a shuttle and then out to the designated parking lot.
If the airport makes a convenient option like ridesharing more difficult, travelers will no doubt turn to other options. The result of this hassle will likely result in more people using their own cars or calling traditional taxi services. In the end, the same number of vehicles will still travel through the terminals. Private vehicles, in particular, are a concern since they are not regulated at all by the airport.