Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is now allowing Lyft and Uber drivers to drop off and pick up passengers on the same trip. The new policy replaces one that required drivers to perform only one transaction—either a drop-off or a pick-up—per visit. Now, after dropping off a passenger, drivers can use a new function called Rematch to be matched with passengers who have requested a ride. If a potential passenger is immediately available, the driver will see a Rematch notification. According to the Lyft website, drivers will be notified within 45 seconds if there is a match. If there is no notification, the driver is expected to exit the airport and return to the designated waiting area as usual.
Lyft and Uber have been working with LAX to test the Rematch feature for the past month, and they found initial results encouraging. Airport officials anticipate that lowering the number of trips ride-sharing drivers make to and from the airport will limit traffic in the Central Terminal Area (CTA). “Traffic reduction is an essential part of improving the guest experience at LAX, and Rematch offers a new way to further reduce the amount of traffic in the CTA,” said Keith Wilschetz, Los Angeles World Airports’ deputy executive director for operations and emergency management.
In addition to reducing traffic, the Rematch feature seems likely to shorten wait times for people leaving the airport. When you request a ride, you won’t necessarily have to wait for a particular car to drive in from the waiting area. Instead, you could be picked up almost immediately.