LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles airport officials told a City Council committee Tuesday they are encouraged by recent improvements to its rideshare and taxi pickup lot, but they acknowledged the switch to the remote lot has generated plenty of complaints and they will continue efforts to improve the system.
“We knew from other airports’ experiences that have moved ground transportation in response to major construction or to the evolution of the more intense ground transportation, that this was going to be complicated,” Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that oversees Los Angeles International Airport, told the council’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee.
“Week one was a significant challenge for us,” she said. “We have made significant changes from learning, not just learning from the team at LAWA, but learning from (ride-hailing services) in how to navigate.”
The committee hearing was held about 12 hours before the LAX-it pickup lot was scheduled to increase in size by 50%. The expansion is set to take effect at 3 a.m. Wednesday to give ride-hailing companies and taxis more space to operate.
Representatives from Uber and Lyft did not attend the committee meeting, which irked Councilman Joe Buscaino, who chairs the panel.
“Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft are not here, and we’ve been given some excuses from them … when we have an important problem to solve,” Buscaino said. “My door was always open to them, and I’m frustrated and disgusted and upset because we need the ride-share companies at the table to solve this problem.”
Airport officials said they were always prepared to expand the LAX-it lot in the event the original design was not suitable.