Just when it seemed that LA City Council would be putting its foot down to stop ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft from picking up passengers at the airport—that last bastion of taxi dominance—without stricter regulations, a City Council committee has instead voted to uphold an earlier decision made by LAX's Board of Airport Commissioners that would let both fake cab companies legally come into the airport for pickups, the LA Times reports. Though the full Council still has to vote, it's seen as likely that they'll now vote in line with the committee.
Councilmember Paul Krekorian, whose motion filed late last month prompted the Council's review of the airport Commissioners' decision, has said that this intervention by the City Council was an uncommon opportunity for the city to impose tougher regulations on the app-based ride companies, which are able to charge lower fares because they don't have to follow the same regulations regarding fair labor, safety, and pickup practices that the taxis do. The services are lightly regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission, but Councilmember Paul Koretz added that the they "put in the most minuscule level of regulations and prevented cities from going further for reasons that are not apparent to me." The airport issue gave the city the in it needed to attempt to put fairer practices in place, but it is "otherwise powerless to improve upon regulations adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission," the City News Service concluded.
However, the committee did vote yesterday to send 10 recommendations for better regulation to the full City Council, says the LA Business Journal. The list mostly focused on background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers, who right now don't have to deal with, say, state rules that require they have their fingerprints run through a federal database, like taxi drivers do.
When the City Council votes on this matter next week, they could either add those 10 recommendations to the Airport Commissioners' previously approved agreement allowing for ride-hailing pickups, or not.
· Plan for Uber, Lyft service at LAX clears key City Hall hurdle [LAT]
· Council Committee Upholds Airport Decision to Allow Uber, Lyft to Pick Up LAX Passengers [LABJ]
· Los Angeles seeks regulation of Uber, Lyft in exchange for LAX pickups [DN]
· Powerful LA City Council Wants to Halt Plan to Let Uber and Lyft Make Pick-Ups at LAX [Curbed LA]