LAX Shuttle Buses A Menace

lax shuttle pic

Going to LAX to pick up a loved one? A friend? Or perhaps you are going on a trip and will need a ride to the not-so-wonderful airport known as LAX.

First off, what does the “X” stand for?
Yep, it’s simply a placeholder so that the airport’s abbreviation has the required three letters. A portent to a poorly planned airport? Maybe.
LAX_many planes

I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life. As a teenager, I remember double dating  at Encounter, the rotating restaurant that used to serve a hamburger large enough for four people. I remember because it was awkward being on a date with a cute guy, and I had no idea how to get my section of the dinner-plate-sized burger  in my mouth in an attractive way. The fact that the entire restaurant was rotating didn’t help. But during the time period, which was the mid-60’s, it was not difficult to drive around LAX nor was parking a problem. Here’s a picture of how it used to look.          lax rest blk wht with parking


We all understand the wonderful intention of the shuttle buses at LAX. They are supposed to bring passengers from the various long-term parking lots, hotels, and car rental companies into the terminal. But have you ever looked into those buses. THEY ARE MOSTLY EMPTY!

I had not thought about it previously, but when I fly for short periods, I use one of the parking options outside the airport. And every single time I have been driven into the terminal, my shuttle has mostly been empty. Now multiply that by all the companies that drive a shuttle into LAX.

I own a Subaru Outback Wagon, a reasonably sized vehicle, yet  driving around LAX I feel like I’m in a mini-compact-bumper car.  I had always made the assumption that the buses were annoying but a good thing in that they transport many people. WRONG!

lax-poles and sunset sky

Next time you are unfortunate enough to have to drive around LAX, especially for an arriving passenger, take a look inside the buses. You will see either empty or almost empty buses. They clog the car traffic and create a terrifying ride around the terminal. A couple of nights ago, while picking-up my son,  there was a “Wally Park” bus on my right, and two on my left. Two were empty. One had three passengers.


If so, how about some “boots on the ground” in the form of traffic control to keep it moving? To keep it fair for cars being squeezed by EMPTY shuttle buses.

How about a restriction on how many buses each company can have in the terminal at one time? And how about a stipulation that requires buses to have a minimum capacity of 1/2-1/3 full based on total possible capacity of the bus prior to entering the terminal?

Yes, one could say then why not impose car pooling on the cars entering? But as I said. I have lived here my whole life and we never had it so bad at LAX. Yes, there are more folks now calling Los Angeles County home. They flock here in search of a Golden Dream that California is mythically known for. So why not make it a reality and not a myth. California should be where dreams come true, not nightmares.

How about it LAXDOT??
parking at lax before structures Here is a picture of how it looked “pre-parking structure” era at LAX.

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Filed under Airport Shuttles, LAX, LAX Traffic, Los Angeles Airport Shuttles, Los Angeles International Airport, Traffic control LAX

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