Lyft has beaten Uber in becoming the first ride-sharing company that can take passengers from Los Angeles airport. The service has agreed to pay a $4 fee for every pick-up and will go live from 8am local time with the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, giving his blessing. Lyft may not be as wealthy, or as powerful, as its much bigger rival, but apparently, it is much more capable in the whole filling-a-form-in-directly department.

Uber Slow to the Finish?

An October report from the LA Times revealed that Uber dragged its feet in presenting the airport contract to the city, while Lyft had its paperwork completed by mid-September. It probably won’t be too long before Uber gets approval, but Lyft can chalk this down as a win in the meantime. Lyft is now allowed at Los Angeles International Airport.

Mayor Eric Garcetti says beginning today, the ride-hailing service will be permitted to make airport pickups. Previously, it could only drop people off.  The company will pay the airport $4 per trip. In a statement, Lyft executive Bakari Brock says the move is a big step forward for consumers and comes just in time for the holiday season.

Approval Process

A competitor, Uber, won’t be allowed to make pickups until it completes the approval process for a permit. The City Council voted earlier this year to grant ride-hailing companies the same airport access as taxis, shuttles, and limousines.

What officials hope will be an early Christmas present to harried holiday travelers, Lyft on Wednesday will become the first ride-hailing service to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.

Earlier this year, Los Angeles officials agreed to allow Lyft and its larger rival, Uber, to apply for permits to work at LAX. Lyft completed its negotiations first, gaining a head start in the potentially lucrative airport market.

LAX Passengers

Backers say ride-hailing will be a major improvement for passengers at LAX, which, unlike most major air hubs, lacks direct rail service. Those who use the West Coast’s largest airport must contend with gridlocked traffic and pricey parking rates.

When Lyft drivers begin picking up travelers Wednesday morning, officials say it will amount to the biggest change to ground transportation options at the airport since the introduction of shared-ride vans like Super Shuttle in the 1980s.

“We’re doing a lot of work to show that we’re a world-class airport—or at least trying to become one,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, whose Westside district includes the airport.


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