'Rematch' program for LAX ride shares already reducing traffic congestion

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Congestion at LAX is legendary, with thousands of cars dropping off and picking up passengers every day.

But traffic at the second busiest airport in the United States is starting to thin out thanks to a new program that allows companies like Uber and Lyft to end and start a trip before leaving the terminal.

It's called "rematch."

"What rematch has done is allow them to drop someone off here but then before they leave, they can pick somebody else up," said Keith Wilschetz, deputy director of operations at LAX.

Wilschetz said the program rolled out for Uber drivers about six weeks ago and for Lyft about two weeks ago, and traffic has already decreased on the upper level by five percent.

"It gives everybody extra room, it's easier to get in and out, it's faster. And it really is a win-win for everyone," said Wilschetz.

Before rematch, ride-share drivers could only enter the central terminal area to pick up or drop off, but not both.

"We'd spend a lot of time after the drop off trying to get back to the station," said driver Israel Carmeli.

Carmeli drives for both Uber and Lyft and said he loves the new feature.

"This is a lot more convenient. You're able in just one swoop to drop off and pick up -- saves a lot of time and a lot of traffic," said Carmeli.

Passengers using ride shares agree.

Both Uber and Lyft said they support the move and are excited to partner with LAX to improve both the customer and the driver experience.
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