Just a couple weeks ago, LAX's Board of Airport Commissioners approved a plan to allow ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers at the airport, just like a cab would (since they are not taxi services and don't follow taxi regulations, it's illegal for them to make pick-ups, but of course they do it anyway). Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed the change in his State of the City address last spring and he's been pushing for it ever since; it all seemed like a done deal and was supposed to be finalized in August, making LAX the largest airport in the country to allow fake cabs. But it turns out the very powerful LA City Council is not on board, citing the flagrant way Uber and Lyft ignore important safety regulations, and is now working to stop the plan.
City Councilmember Paul Krekorian has proposed a motion, backed by a full five of his fellow councilmembers, saying they oppose the plan as it is and want to review the matter, reports City News Service. Krekorian cites all the same issues everyone cites: app-based services like Uber and Lyft aren't required to follow any of the taxi rules regarding passenger safety, background checks for drivers, disability access, non-discrimination, and fleet emissions. (Evading these rules is exactly what allows Uber and Lyft to charge so little; it's the whole reason they function as businesses.)
In a letter written to the Board of Airport Commissioners back in May, Krekorian and his colleague Paul Koretz wrote "Given the security and safety concerns unique to the airport and the surrounding area, it is our view that TNCs (transportation network companies) currently lack the necessary regulatory framework to do business at LAX … We would therefore oppose any potential agreement between LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports) and TNCs that does not incorporate a regulatory framework" close to the one that taxis follow.
The City Council will vote on the motion next week, potentially triggering a review. It's an especially powerful body in Los Angeles because it has so few members—generally they vote together as a block in support of each member's pet causes.
· More trouble for besieged Uber: L.A. may scuttle plan to allow LAX pickups [CNS]
· Uber and Lyft Will be Allowed to Pick Up Travelers at LAX [Curbed LA]