Despite promises from city officials that we’d have UberX and Lyft at Los Angeles International Airport this summer, it is now autumn ad we are still waiting. The reason? Bureaucratic paperwork and a lawsuit.
The LA Times reports–
As in other parts of the United States where the young businesses operate, the sticking point at LAX has been access to operational information. Airport staff are in back-and-forth negotiations with Uber and Lyft, asking for data and documents that clarify whether the companies can meet all the terms of their airport contracts. That process has taken more than a month.
“We’ve asked for the documents,” airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said. “If they don’t turn them in, we can’t review them.”
It appears that Lyft has already submitted the necessary paperwork and may get the jump over UberX to begin operations at LAX.
Uber and Lyft must also satisfy a number of electronic regulatory requirements like the creation of a digital “geofence” that would prohibit drivers beyond those waiting in a specially designated area from picking up fares. LAX has limited the number of UberX and Lyft drivers that can wait for passengers to 40 at a time.
There is also one final hurdle for both Lyft and Uber — the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, an LA-based advocacy group, invoked the California Environmental Quality Act to appeal for an injunction on ride-sharing service at LAX until elected officials have studied how Uber and Lyft will contribute to airport congestion. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti promises to deal with that swiftly, but he also told us we’d have Uber three months ago.
Bottom line, we are now looking at Thanksgiving or year’s end before we see Uber X and Lyft at LAX. That’s bad news for airport passengers.
> Read More: 5 Tips for Using Uber at LAX