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City Council Could Hit The Brakes On Uber And Lyft Pick-Ups At LAX

Arrivals at LAX (Photo by ckramer via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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Looks like Uber and Lyft might not be allowed to pick you up at LAX after all, if some L.A. City Council members have their way.

Six council members are now saying they want to halt plans to allow ride-share services like Uber and Lyft from legally picking people up from the airport. Led by Councilman Paul Krekorian, they argue in a proposed motion that they want to further examine concerns about passenger safety, disability access, vehicle emissions and more, according to City News Service. The council vote comes fast on the heels of LAX and Mayor Eric Garcetti giving the thumbs up to the companies to apply for permits to do pick-ups.

Just a couple weeks ago, LAX's Board of Airport Commissioners voted unanimously to allow the ride-sharing companies to make pick-ups as early as August, pending approval by airport officials and the city attorney. Before that, Garcetti had proposed the change in his State of the City address back in April, and has been pushing for it since. But apparently the City Council is not about to give the plan five stars, at least not without some significant changes.

Councilmembers Krekorian and Paul Koretz, who seconded the motion, previously sent a letter to the Airport Commission, stating their concerns with the plan. The May 13 letter explains, "Given the security and safety concerns unique to the airport and the surrounding area, it is our view that [ride-sharing services] currently lack the necessary regulatory framework to do business at LAX." They argue that they would not approve of a plan that doesn't demand the same level of regulations that are imposed on taxi companies. They worry that things like background checks, environmental requirements and insurance coverage will not be enough with the ride-sharing companies.

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The Airport Commission-approved agreement would require Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to obtain an active permit from the California Public Utilities Commission, maintain sufficient insurance coverage, pay a $4-per-trip fee and a monthly licensing fee, and meet other requirements as well.

The council is expected to vote on the motion next week, and if approved, the would then be reviewed by the 15 member council.