Los Angeles International is the latest major airport hub to announce dramatic changes in how passengers use Uber, Lyft or taxis. Starting on Tuesday, Oct. 29, all ridesharing and taxi customers must take a shuttle bus to a designated parking lot to find their rides. Drivers will still be allowed to drop off passengers at terminal curbs.

Like other airports, LAX is making the move to ameliorate the impact of the massive increase in traveler volume,  the rapid emergence of ridesharing cars as well as the airport's ongoing construction and renovation projects. Combined, these factors have slowed roadway traffic to a crawl at peak times, which not only frustrates travelers, but is also a safety issue — imagine a fire truck or ambulance trying to make its way through that mess.

An airport advisory states that the new lot will be called "LAX-it" and it "will reimagine the pick-up process for taxis, Uber, Lyft and Opoli with additional amenities like food trucks, Wi-Fi and cell phone charging. This new facility will enhance and improve the taxi and ride app pick-up experience at LAX as the airport enters a major phase of construction within the Central Terminal Area."

San Francisco International Airport made a similar move this summer (read all about that here) that resulted in long delays and consternation among travelers, but has since smoothed out according to SFO officials.

LAX officials told the Los Angeles Times that passengers will wait 3-5 minutes for a shuttle, and the trip to the special lot should take no longer than 15 minutes. Additionally, the airport says that it plans to reconfigure its lower-level curb to allow the new ride-sharing shuttle buses to have unimpeded access to airport roadways.

The costliest current airport project is LAX's $2.6 billion people-mover. Photo: Los Angeles World Airports
Photo: Los Angeles World Airports

The costliest current airport project is LAX's $2.6 billion people-mover.

The new lot will be located near Terminal 1, which is used by Southwest, so passengers should be able to walk. It will likely be an easy walk from Delta's Terminals 2-3 as well. But the walk could be a long haul, especially if you are laden down with luggage, from more distant terminals in the LAX horseshoe.

One important exception to the new rules: Chauffeured rides. "The new pickup rules make LAX the perfect airport for an upgraded ride. Chauffeurs will be the only way to hire a fast, private pickup from the curb. Chauffeurs have always given guests premium vehicles and top service. Now guests can reclaim more time and peace of mind, especially in an airport under construction," said Adam Parken, at Blacklane, a global provider of chauffeured rides.

In a statement, Uber said: "While we have concerns with aspects of LAX's plan to move all rideshare pickups to a staging lot, we have shared those concerns directly with (LAX) and will continue operating at the airport. In the meantime, we hope LAX will listen to and incorporate our input so that so that LAX passengers can continue to access rideshare service in a seamless way."

What do you think of airports changing up the way travelers grab their rides? Tell us in THE COMMENTS. 

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Chris McGinnis is the founder of TravelSkills.com. The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission. You can reach Chris at [email protected] or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.