Taxi drivers will once again be able to pick up arriving passengers at the curb inside the Central Terminal Area at Los Angeles International Airport, starting at 8 a.m. today.
Two taxi stands will be in the terminal area during a 90-day pilot program.
The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners was notified on Thursday that the airport would modify its LAX-it program to give the taxis more room.
“This step will certainly help restore the taxi industry to its rightful and historic place at LAX,” Bill Rouse, the general manager of Yellow Cab, said in a statement last week.
Additional signage will be placed overnight to help guests arriving at Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 3, 7 and 8 find the new taxi pickup locations, LAX officials said. Signage that helps guests find their way to the LAX-it shuttle or to reach LAX-it by foot will remain unchanged.
In October, LAXI-it pushed taxis, ride-hail services and shuttles to a specific lot outside the CTA to pick up passengers, which taxi drivers said crippled their business. All services were still allowed to drop off passengers inside.
LAX permitted taxis to park outside the baggage claim areas at a half- dozen terminals for decades, but recent increases in traffic and long wait times to exit the airport prompted the new pick-up station while construction takes place on the airport’s multibillion-dollar improvement projects.
Airport officials said LAX-it decreased the number of vehicles in the CTA an average of 12-13% each day.
“Two taxi stands inside the central terminal is better than none,” Rouse said. “It will mean better, more convenient service for travelers. (Thursday’s) decision demonstrates that LAX staff recognize the vital role the taxi industry plays in serving travelers arriving at LAX. It also recognizes that the industry can only play that vital role if it is financially viable.”
During the three-month trial period, airport officials will closely monitor the effects the taxi stand operations have on traffic congestion.