Los Angeles is is considering letting people who take public transit to the airport have priority security. This isn’t PreCheck or CLEAR, just priority line access for the regular security queue, and follows a program at Boston Logan for people who take a shuttle bus or ferry to the airport.
Priority security isn’t actually free, in other words it isn’t costless. “When everybody’s priority, nobody is.” Grant everyone priority and they’re behind everyone else who is also priority that got there first. The unsigned editorial asks, “Why not let the hoi polloi join VIPs at the front of the line?” Priority doesn’t mean fast when you hand out substantially more priority slots. TSA isn’t staffing more lanes, in fact there’s a hiring freeze at TSA.
The LA Times supports the idea suggesting that “[f]ront-of-the-line service is..a more egalitarian way to discourage driving to LAX than, say, congestion pricing [charging cars more].” Not really, in one case cars pay in cash the other they pay with their time (being behind more people in the security line, the transit riders who get to jump in front of them). Either way you’re taxing people who drive.
The real problems to solve are airport security (theater) queues, and why public transport isn’t sufficiently attractive in the first place. The piece notes “after ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft were permitted to serve the airport, ridership on buses and shuttles plummeted” yet it fails to ask why that is.