LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - The ride-hailing company Lyft will begin pick-up service at Los Angeles International Airport today, just in time for the holiday travel season.
City leaders approved a blanket licensing agreement earlier this year to allow Lyft and similar companies, such as Uber, to apply for permits to operate at LAX alongside taxis, shuttles and other transportation services.
Lyft, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday, will be the first to begin operating at LAX under the agreement. Their service will begin at 8 a.m. today. Ride-hailing companies can already drop off passengers at LAX, but have been unable to legally make pick-ups. Some ride-hailing companies have worked around the restriction by picking people up just off airport property.
Garcetti said in his state of the city speech in April that his goal was for such companies to begin operating out of LAX by year's end.
"As we continue rebuilding nearly every terminal at the airport, and work to bring rail to LAX, our passengers deserve access to all available options to ensure they have an excellent experience," the mayor said.
Bakari Brock, a senior director with Lyft, said the company is "excited that Los Angeles visitors and residents will be able to get a Lyft ride to and from LAX, just in time for the holiday season. "This is a big step forward for consumers, and we want to thank the Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners and Mayor Garcetti for their work to bring modern transportation options like Lyft to the airport," Brock said.
Uber is also in the process of obtaining a permit to operate at LAX. Airport officials said they "continue to diligently review" documents submitted by Rasier-CA, the company that operates Uber service in California,
to make sure requirements are "properly satisfied."
Two other companies, Wingz and Opoli, are also applying for permits, according to airport officials.
Ride-hailing services, also known as "transportation networkcompanies," that obtain the needed permits will be allowed to make pickups on LAX's upper departure level. The services will pay the airport $4 per trip -- a fee that will likely be passed along to passengers -- and must follow rules aimed at reducing congestion in LAX's central terminal area.
Councilman Mike Bonin, whose district includes LAX, said Lyft service will "broaden the range of choices for passengers, making it easier to go to and from the airport." He added that the licensing agreement "negotiated by the Board of Airport Commissioners protects nearby neighborhoods with technology that prevents drivers from parking on their streets while they wait for calls."
Lyft touted the news on its website, announcing that customers will be given $5 off two rides to or from the airport by using the payment code FLY2015. The promotion will be good until Jan. 1.
According to Lyft's website, the service will have six designated pickup locations on the upper level at LAX.