Drivers for Uber and Lyft lined up opposite opponents of the ridesharing companies Tuesday at a Los Angeles City Council committee hearing that could determine whether the firms will be able to operate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Ridesharing companies can drop passengers off at LAX but cannot pick them up. The city’s Airport Commission, which oversees LAX, had signed off on a plan that would allow the companies to pick up passengers, but the City Council balked at the move and voted 11-2 earlier this month to intervene.
In a hearing scheduled for this afternoon, the council’s Trade, Commerce and Technology Committee was to take up the matter. And committee members will get an earful from supporters, including ridesharing drivers and opponents, including taxi operators, who turned out for Tuesday’s meeting.
LAX has become one of the few places in the city where taxi drivers can reliably find fares, and taxi companies have been outspoken opponents of allowing the rideshare companies to operate at the airport.
A taxi trade group earlier this month provided records to the Los Angeles Times showing that four Uber drivers who were recently ticketed at LAX by airport police had criminal convictions that would prohibit them from becoming cab drivers.
The commission’s plan would have required rideshare drivers to pay a $4 fee for picking up or dropping off passengers at LAX, forced them to use the airport’s upper departures concourse and limited the number of rideshare vehicles that can wait on airport grounds for fares.
It’s not clear what other rules the City Council might put in place if it allows ridesharing companies to operate at LAX, or whether it will allow them to operate there at all.
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