Students flying to Los Angeles International Airport can take a free bus back to UCLA during Thanksgiving week.
The option to take free public transportation started Nov. 24 and will run until the end of the day Monday, LAX announced in a press release Friday. The airport is sponsoring the free rides in anticipation of an exceptionally busy travel period. LAX is estimating that 3.21 million passengers will go through the airport between Nov. 20 and Dec. 3, according to another press release later Friday.
Taking the bus can be a free alternative to getting picked up by ride-hailing services or taxis, which have been restricted to a parking lot just outside the central terminal area since late October. The LAX-it program got off to a rocky start, with long wait times and lines frustrating some travelers.
To take the bus to UCLA, students must board the LAX shuttle to the City Bus Center where they can board the Culver CityBus Rapid 6 bus. Passengers do not need to use a TAP card or buy a ticket; they just have to show the bus driver their boarding pass from that day, according to LAX.
The free bus rides also apply to any Metro bus, the Big Blue Bus and Torrance Transit. Additionally, passengers can board a free bus at the Green Line Station to reach Downtown LA, the press release read.
Shuttles to the City Bus Center and the Green Line Station can be found on the lower arrivals level at the pink LAX shuttle stops, according to LAX.
LAX is also offering a new holiday shuttle that can take passengers to and from LAX and locations in Century City and Santa Monica. These shuttles will cost $10 each and run from 5 a.m. to midnight. The Century City location will be at 2030 Century Park West and the Santa Monica location will be at 1925 Arizona Ave., according to LAX.
LAX is warning passengers to plan for an extra hour at the airport and to expect heavy traffic in the central terminal area and long lines for LAX-it.
The surge in passengers around Thanksgiving represents a 0.12% increase compared to a similar time period last year. Thanksgiving day and Friday are expected to be relatively calm; however, traffic congestion is expected to peak on Dec. 1 and 2, according to LAX.