Uber, Lyft too expensive at LAX? Taxi, bus and other options

Bomani Mintz walked out of baggage claim at LAX over Thanksgiving weekend and was greeted with sticker shock. Its five-mile Uber ride to Marina del Rey would cost $ 50.

Then he noticed the unusually long lines for taxis.

“The taxi market is making a comeback as Uber / Lyft prices are over $ 10 per mile from LAX” he tweeted.

Mintz said he had flown to LAX once a month for the past three months, but had never considered using a cab home until now. The ride cost him $ 30.

He wasn’t the only annoyed traveler. Lane Wood landed at LAX on November 30 and said an UberX ride to downtown Los Angeles was estimated to be over $ 100.

“It’s not a small amount. It’s not like a “Oh sure, just let me push a button and $ 100 will be taken from my account.” “It’s wild,” he said.

Uber and Lyft said they take several factors into account when estimating a rate. For example, Uber takes into account the time of day, distance, and route – prices are adjusted for shared rides and demand. Lyft considers route, type, availability and demand.

Lyft spokeswoman Abby Guadarrama said in a statement the company was responding to the changing conditions.

“As the vaccines were rolled out and people started moving again, we started to see the demand for rides exceed the number of drivers available,” she said. “In markets where possible, we provide demand forecasts to drivers to help them get to their destinations as efficiently as possible – as much as possible given the unpredictability of COVID. “

So if you’re used to using a rideshare app to leave LAX but don’t like the price or timing of a solo ride, here are some alternatives.

Line up for a taxi

The queue for taxis is still there, and although there is a wait, there are a lot of taxi drivers circling LAX. You can take a taxi from LAX-it next to Terminal 1, inside Parking Structure 3 and at the end of Terminal 7.

Note that taxi fares in Los Angeles are set by the Board of Taxicab Commissioners, so time of day, demand, and availability are not factors like with ridesharing apps.

Colin Sweeney, director of public information for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said all passengers travel for the price of one: it’s $ 2.85 for the first ninth of a mile; 30 cents for every ninth of an additional mile (which comes to $ 2.70 per mile); plus 30 cents for every 37 seconds of wait or delay ($ 29.19 per hour).

“Since 2018, taxi companies have been able to adjust these prices downwards. However, they cannot exceed these rates, ”he said.

LAX downtown (and vice versa) is the only fixed rate, at $ 46.50, set by the Council of Commissioners. Taxi companies sometimes have flat rates for other trips to the airport. For example, Bell Cab charges $ 38 for trips between the city of West Hollywood and LAX.

There are eight licensed taxi companies that serve LAX, including:

  • Bell Cab: You can call (888) 481-2345 or request a ride through the Taxi.US app.

Public transportation, parking and more

What are your other options?

Public transport: Yes, you can take the bus. Several providers serve LAX, including Metro, Culver CityBus, Big Blue Bus, Torrance Transit, and Beach Cities Transit.

LAX offers a free shuttle to the LAX City Bus Center. The shuttle is located under the LAX Shuttle & Airline Connections sign on the lower / arrivals level. You’ll want to board the Lot South / LAX City Bus Center shuttle. The shuttle does not run from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Hotel shuttles: Major airport hotels offer courtesy transportation from LAX terminals, so call your hotel and inquire about their shuttles.

Fly away: This is a bus service that takes you between LAX and Union Station or Van Nuys. A one-way ticket costs $ 9.75. Ticket and timetable information is available on the FlyAway website.

Parking reserved for LAX: If you are driving, you can reserve and prepay a parking space before your trip. From your reserved parking space, take the free shuttle to your terminal.

Make your family or a friend feel guilty for a ride: Mintz said he would start thinking ahead when he figured out how to get home from the airport. “Unless a friend comes to pick me up, I feel like I’m at the mercy of a cab, Uber, or Lyft,” he said.

A full list of transportation options is available on the LAX website.

Do you still want to use carpooling?

Lyft: Guadarrama said Lyft users might consider Lyft Rentals to get away from the airport. Simply open the app and look for the keys icon to choose your location, booking dates, and vehicle. In December, she said, there is a promotion of $ 30 for first tenants. If you use Lyft to rent from Sixt, a car rental service, beginners can get a 10% discount.

Lyft also offers a Wait & Save option – you wait longer and pay a lower rate. This program is not available in all markets.

And there’s still Lyft Shared, a car shared with other riders at a reduced price. And, according to Lyft’s website, you can get a bigger discount by booking in advance.

Uber: Uber spokesperson Zahid Arab said to plan your trip up to 30 days in advance with Uber Reserve so you know your ride is confirmed. A driver will wait for you for up to an hour at no additional cost. And if you provide your flight information, the reservation can be adjusted for delays.

Arab also suggested checking the Uber app 20 minutes before requesting a ride to gauge arrival times to ensure you get to where you want to go on time.

Finally, if you’re in no rush, he said, wait for prices to drop.

About Kevin Strickland

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