As air travelers know only too well, the past few weeks have been a logistical nightmare at LAX. Arriving passengers have been forced to wait sometimes hours to take transportation from the airport to their destination. This intolerable situation is particularly exhausting and frustrating for those arriving on flights from the East Coast or foreign countries.
I submitted a letter this week to the Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) expressing in detail my concerns regarding operational problems with the LAX-it program. Much of my ire is directed at policies that favor Transportation Network Company (TNC) vehicles such as Uber and Lyft over taxi cabs.
As I stated: "Stanchions and curb stencils were supposed to be provided at the taxi stand so that taxi company staff can direct passengers where to stand in order to expedite pickups, but they were not installed. The TNC stands do have these numbers. As a result, taxi companies had to add additional staff in order to manage passenger queues. When will this situation be rectified?" My letter mentioned a specific time on Halloween evening when taxis were not allowed to enter the LAX-it lot, resulting in a line of nearly 400 people waiting for taxi rides.
I am awaiting a response to this and other points from LAWA.
At the end of the week it was reported that the airport had taken concrete steps to alleviate the horrible congestion. While I certainly applaud this effort, the real test is yet to come, during the peak holiday season. In the meantime, my office will continue to closely monitor the situation.