Los Angeles officials voted Thursday to allow services such as Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers at LAX, the largest U.S. city to grant full airport access to the rapidly growing app-based companies.
If the companies can comply with the airport’s rules, Lyft and Uber services could be available by September.
Until now, passengers at LAX have been limited to cabs, shuttles and limousine services when trying to make their way from the airport.
Uber and Lyft’s services, such as UberX, were allowed to drop off passengers but not pick them up.
The LAX Board of Commissioners voted for a change which will make LAX the largest U.S. airport to give such services full access by allowing them to pick up passengers.
The plan must be approved by the airport and city attorney, but could begin by summer’s end.
Some details of the new proposed agreements with the companies must also be worked out, according to representatives for Uber and Lyft.
The move is a blow to taxi drivers, who have long argued they are at a disadvantage because their fares are set by cities, and those prices are usually higher than ride-hailing services’ discount options such as UberX.
A typical taxi trip from LAX to downtown Los Angeles runs more than $50 before tip. But the same trip via a ride service costs closer to $30 during non-peak periods.
The vote was a victory for Uber, which has recently faced other challenges in its home state of California.
Under LAX’s new scheme, Uber and Lyft drivers would drop off and pick up passengers at a designed area on the airport’s upper departure level, paying the airport $4 each way.
The companies would also have to pay the airport at least $25,000 per month to be able to participate in the new proposed licensing agreement with LAX.
Nashville International Airport was the first major U.S. airport to allow pickups by ride-hailing services. It is one of more than a dozen U.S. airports to do so.