LAX is one of the busiest airports in the United States, which means it CAN be a GOLD mine for smart uber and Lyft drivers… but it can also be a massive waste of time if you don’t know how to drive at LAX or you don’t have a solid airport strategy.
We want you to crush it while driving at LAX, which is why we’ve put together this LAX airport guide for rideshare drivers that gives you all of the information that you need to be a successful rideshare driver at LAX.
See the topics covered in this blog post below:
- What do I need to know or do before arriving at LAX?
- What is a Uber Placard and how do I get one?
- Where is the rideshare waiting area at LAX?
- What are the passenger pick up rules at LAX?
- What are the passenger drop off rules at LAX?
- When is the best time to drive at LAX?
- What is the best LAX driving strategy?
Let’s dive in!
What you need to know before arriving at LAX airport queue
If you’ve driven at LAX or any other airport before as a rideshare driver, then you know that airports have a invisible geofence around them and once you enter that geofence, you’ll be placed in a queue that acts as a virtual driver line, kind of like traditional taxi lines.
As you wait in the LAX queue, you’ll cycle through the line (sometimes quickly but it can be painfully slow, I know) and finally be pinged by a rider.
However, before you get to the airport there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that you’re prepared.
Step #1: Get your trade decals:
This is an easy one. At every airport rideshare drivers need a “trade dress’ on their vehicle that identifies them as a rideshare driver. These are simply driveer decals that you can get from Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare companies.
To get your Uber Decal you can visit the local Greenlight Hub.
Step #2: Pass the Uber/Lyft quiz
Driving at LAX is much stricter than other airports and has a set of very specific rules. To ensure all drivers understand these rules, the major rideshare companies require drivers to pass a quiz before they are allowed to drive at these airports.
The questions for these tests are:
- Where do you place the LAX permit on your vehicle?
- What level of the airport are you permitted to pick up riders on?
- Can a TNC driver circle in the terminal area?
- In which area can you wait for pickup requests?
- When picking up, what rules and laws must you obey?
- True or False State and federal laws require you to pick up service animals on a rideshare trip?
- Before dismantling your rider’s wheelchair, what should you do first?
- Can riders in Manual or folding wheelchairs use standard vehicles?
- When picking up a rider with a service animal, where should service animal ride?
- When assisting someone who is blind, what is the recommended way to guide them?
- “Handicapped” is an acceptable term when referring to people with disabilities?
These are all questions that any rideshare driver should be able to answer. If you have paid attention to instructional videos during onboarding, this will be a breeze.
Step #3: Obtain all Permit and Placards
Once you pass the quiz for Uber and Lyft, you’ll be able to receive a placard. After you have completed the quiz, you should see a automatic prompt telling you how to obtain your placard.
Once you have your placard, you will need to display the card underneath your Uber/Lyft trade dress and verify it within Uber/Lyft’s app.
If you did not receive one in the mail, you can get a new LAX placard at your local Uber Greenlight Hub or order a new one here.
Where is the rideshare waiting area?
Now that you’re eligible to drive at LAX, you’ll need to understand how to get there and where you can wait!
The first place you should go as a rideshare driver is either Uber or Lyft’s staging area. Many airports will combine the lots of rideshare drivers, but at LAX Lyft has it’s own seperate lot.
How to get to Lyft’s staging lot
Lyft drivers will find the staging lot entrance at the south east corner of the lot, along W 98th St and it’s open everyday from 6am-10pm. One cool thing is that there is a Lyft service trailer at the lot as well.
See a map of the staging lot below:
Once you are in the lot, you’ll be entered into the queue and you can wait for a pickup.
How to get to Uber’s staging lot
Uber’s designated staging lot is near Lyft’s, but the entrance is located off of 6100 Westchester Pkwy.
See the below map for further details:
Again, once you’re in the staging lot you’ll be automatically entered into the queue.
How should Uber and L
yft drivers pick up passengers at LAX?
Picking up passengers at LAX is relatively straight forward.
When a rider requests a Uber or a Lyft, they will be prompted to go to a location marked A – G. As a rideshare driver, you will simply meet them at these markers based on their terminal. See a map of these points below:
All you need to do is go to the correct designated area.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at LAX?
Dropping off passengers is again straight forward. All you need to do is drop passengers at their requested terminal and that’s it! No special rules here.
One thing to note is that both Uber and Lyft offer some form of a re-match that allows drivers that just dropped off a passenger to immediately pick up a passenger. This doesn’t always happen and if it does, it will be within 45 seconds of your dropoff. So DON’T
When is the best time to drive at LAX?
LAX is the main airport for all of Los Angeles so it is frequently busy, however, you’re not the only driver that knows that. So there is also usually a ton of drivers at the airport.
So the best time to drive at LAX is when there are the ratio of passengers to drivers is at it’s absolute highest.
To understand when this ratio is highest, check your Gridwise app and compare queue times to passenger arrival times.
There are of course certain times of year that receive more passengers like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and the Saturday before big football games, however, the best way to understand rider demand at your airport is with Gridwise.
You can also use Gridwise airport alerts to remind you when rider demand is increasing. You can simply set up alerts that will remind you when demand at the airport is at a certain level so you don’t need to continuously check.
What should my LAX driving strategy be?
Pick up a passenger on the way to the airport!
Don’t just be a driver that picks up passengers at the airport! Also pick them up when they are heading to the airport. Gridwise does a great job of telling you when there is also a peak in airport departures, so you can hang around near hotels at that time to maximize your chances of an airport ride.
Do not cancel on a passenger after you’ve accepted a fare
If you do, you will be bumped to the bottom of the queue and your wait starts all over again. The good news is that if it’s a short ride, some companies let you jump back in line after you’ve dropped that passenger off.
Always be prepared
You never know when law enforcement will show up, so always keep your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration handy. And don’t forget to have your placard displayed.
Now you should be ready to make that drive to LAX and actually earn money instead of snacking on candy from Sunoco. I’m not the only one who does that, right?