A First-Person Account Of Long Lines & Full Shuttle Buses; He Finally Just Took A Cab
If the first day is any indication, the new Los Angeles airport policy regarding shared ride pickups is going to be a very frustrating situation for travelers.
A system of going to a designated lot by Terminal 1 simply did not work on opening day. While there are designated easy-to-spot green shuttle buses going around the terminals to pick up passengers, they were too full to accommodate any more riders and the design of the buses themselves is inefficient.
A friend landed at approximately 3:30 p.m., on the first day and sent me a series of texts about the process. Eventually he gave up and took a cab.
Here’s a “boots on the ground” account from his texts:
• “Arrived curb at 3:51 p.m. First shuttle passed by at 3:54. It was full and didn’t stop.”
• “There are green shuttles. They are not properly equipped for the job.”
• “They (the shuttle buses) look like new shuttles but just aren’t equipped for the job. The doors swing out so far that the people in the shuttle line have to step way back from the curb to make room for the doors (to open).”
• “I bailed and grabbed a cab instead of Uber/Lyft. Cab line was WAY shorter.” (Note: under this new LAX policy you must also take a bus to an off-site location as – are you reach for this one – there is no longer any curbside taxi service.)
And finally, as he was out of the airport and on his way home in a cab:
• “The traffic at the offsite lot was a nightmare.”
This is good news for the taxi drivers, of course. But not for passengers. And if you’re considering taking public transportation, good luck with that, as well. Nothing is on site. To get to the Metro Green Line, you have to take a white bus (marked Green Line) to an offside lot 10 minutes away and then get on the train.
But it doesn’t really go anywhere.
The Green Line goes inland and stops south of downtown in Watts. From there, you change to the Blue Line northbound, although you can’t do that now because that line is under repair.
An alternative is to get off at the Harbor Freeway stop and then stand on the median between lanes of a fast-moving freeway and take the Silver Line bus to downtown. This will take you anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. If you’re headed to Hollywood, you can get off at the 7th Street stop and then go into the Metro station and take the Red Line.
There are buses at that Metro station. They go to the South Bay Beach Cities, Culver City, Marina del Rey and even to Santa Monica. But that will take at least another to reach your destination.