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Not So Fast: Uber And Lyft Pickups At LAX Put On Hold

Arrivals at LAX (Photo by ckramer via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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The move to allow ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers at LAX just got delayed.On Wednesday, the City Council voted to review the plan, taking control of it away from the airport commission. Councilmembers voted 11-2 in favor of the motion, mainly citing concern that drivers for the ride-sharing apps do not undergo the same background checks as taxi drivers. According to KPCC, Uber and Lyft drivers are not fingerprinted like cabbies.

"I could not care less if the vehicle picking up passengers has a checkered paint job or a pink mustache or numbers on the back," said Councilman Paul Krekorian at the meeting, according to the L.A. Times. "But it's our responsibility to make sure that person is safe and is treated with dignity."

A report published Tuesday in the L.A. Times found that at least four Uber drivers cited at LAX last year had criminal records that would keep them from getting a taxi permit in Los Angeles. These charges include child exploitation, manslaughter, and a DUI. These findings were also presented to a city official before today's vote.

In a blog post from last month, Uber's chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote that the company believes the background checks they use "stack up well" against those used by the taxi industry.

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Despite this delay, councilmembers acknowledge it is only inevitable that Uber and Lyft drivers will eventually be able to pick you up from LAX. The council now has 20 days to discuss the plan, and will have to vote whether to allow it or send it back to the airport commission to make changes.