Lyft Gets Approval to Pick Up Passengers From LAX
On Wednesday, travelers who landed at the Los Angeles International Airport got a new transportation option: ride-hailing service Lyft.
After a long process to gain approval from Los Angeles officials, Lyft finally got the clearance for its drivers to pick up passengers from one of the largest international airports in the country, the company said on Tuesday. Earlier this year, officials allowed companies like Uber and Lyft to apply for permits to do this, and Lyft has beaten rival Uber in the race.
Similarly to other airports when ride-hailing companies can operate, Lyft drivers can only pick up passengers in one area, the upper departures level. Idle Lyft drivers waiting for a ride request must also wait in a holding area, with no more than 40 of them allowed in the area at one time, according to the Los Angeles Times. The report adds that Lyft originally opposed requiring passengers to go to the upper level with heavy luggage.
Lyft will be required to pay the airport at least $25,000 per month from $4 fees for each drop-off and pickup it charges passengers, according to the Times.
Both companies have been allowed to drop off passengers for more than two years. Uber is currently in the final stages of getting pick-up approval from LAX, an Uber spokesman confirmed to Fortune.
Access to LAX—and any other airport in the U.S.—has been vehemently opposed by the taxi industry since ride-hailing services debuted several years ago. Because ferrying travelers to and from airports is a lucrative business, the taxi industry has hoped to keep this last revenue stream to itself as the rest of its business has been cannibalized by ride-hailing. Overall, it also argues that drivers for these services are held to lower standards, leading to unfair advantages and lower quality service for passengers.
Both Uber and Lyft have been aggressively working to gain access to main airports, most recently getting clearance from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Oakland International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, among others.
Correction, December 23, 2015: An earlier version of this article mistakenly asserted that ride-hailing companies have been allowed to pick up passengers for two years. They have been able to drop off passengers for that period.