LAX Shuttles: How often do they actually run?

15 Jan 2011

LAX Airport ShuttleHere's what most airport parking customers experience: they land, pick up their luggage (if checked in), and walk out of the terminal to the shuttle bus stop. Let's assume the average wait time would be 15 minutes. That is quite a long wait to start with. In order for an average wait to be 15 minutes, shuttles should run every 30 min. Let's take two extremes as examples to understand why. Assume there are two travelers. One traveler arrives 1 minute before the shuttle leaves and waits 1 minute, while another person arrives 1 minute after the bus leaves and waits 29 minutes. Average is (1 + 29) / 2 = 15 minutes.

On average, 10 shuttle buses travel through the airport every minute. During 15 minutes of waiting, our traveler will see 150 shuttles pass him. That's where frustration comes from, the first thought that comes to mind is something like every other company's shuttle already circled at least once, but the company I parked with hasn't sent even one bus to pick me up. That's almost like saying the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Let's now get to the actual numbers. Some parking lot operators provide what is called "continuous shuttle service." It means that the shuttle will pick you up at the lot immediately and will be available every 5 minutes when you return. These lots are:

WallyPark
The Parking Spot
Park Air Express

Continuous shuttle service is not cheap, it comes at an expense. Your expense. Rates at these facilities are normally $15 per day and up.

The next category consists of companies that run shuttles often enough. The interval is usually 5-10 minutes. This would be:

QuikPark
Easy Park
Airport Center
Auto Airport Parking
Fox Auto Parks (most of the time)

Hotels which provide airport parking are the next category. They all use the service of external companies called Destination Shuttle Services (or DSS for short) to provide airport transportation for their guests. Because of strong arguments with airport authorities, and an attempt to be green (as they state it) these shuttles run every 20 min. The hotels provide an otherwise exceptional parking experience, and the rates are cheaper than those of the lots in our first category, so it may be worthwhile to wait an extra 5 minutes each way. These hotels are:

Hilton
Marriott
Westin
Renaissance

All other lots run shuttles at different intervals, depending on the customer volume. All of them run at least 2 shuttles per hour.

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