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Uber Has Been Delaying the Process to Make Pickups at LAX

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in his State of the City address in April that he wanted Uber and Lyft to be able to pick people up at LAX (they're only allowed to drop off, technically), and pretty much nothing—including the LA City Council—has stood in the way. But the first deadline of "by the summer" has now become "by Thanksgiving"—and "by the end of the year" might even be more realistic, says the LA Times. The hold-up seems to be Uber, which has been lagging on turning in documents necessary for the airport to approve them for pickups.

The Board of Airport Commissioners approved Uber/Lyft/etc. pickups months ago, but they still have to make specific agreements with each service, and that process has dragged—negotiations between Uber, Lyft, and the airport over the "operational information" that LAX needs have taken a month alone. The airport has put in their request for specific paperwork that it has yet to receive: "We've asked for the documents. If they don't turn them in, we can't review them," an airport spokeswoman says. (Uber has a rep for refusing to share its information with regulators and government officials, which has gotten them in trouble before.)

Uber says it's put a lot of effort into gathering the information for the "extensive" application process, but apparently not as much as its competition: while Lyft handed over its complete application in the middle of September, Uber has so far only submitted half. (A rep told the Times via email that the final half of the company's application was supposed to be turned in late yesterday.)

Once the documents are all turned in to LAX officials, there are still a few more steps. The city's lawyers "will review the agreements and green-light the permits if all is in order," but the permits can't actually be handed out until the City Council settles up an appeal by a group of concerned Westside residents who worry about the environmental impacts of allowing ride-hailing apps to pick up travelers at the airport. The terms of the airport's agreements with the ride-sharing companies say that the companies must confine their drivers to a specific holding area where they'll wait for fares (instead of endless circling) and that no more than 40 drivers will be in the waiting area at a time, but the Westsiders are worried that those rules won't be followed, resulting in a ton of new congestion in the area.

The Board of Airport Commissioners approved the ride-hailing apps to pick up at LAX over the summer, but the City Council spent a while deciding whether or not to hold out on approving the commissioners' decision (some councilmembers hoped to regulate the apps a little bit more) and didn't give the go-ahead until August.
· What's holding up the start of Uber and Lyft pickups from LAX? [LAT]
· Uber and Lyft Are Now Cleared to Make Pick-Ups at LAX [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045