Uber, Lyft drivers may soon be allowed to do business at LAX

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The City of Los Angeles is exploring whether or not the same technology used by rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, should be required on traditional taxicabs.

The Los Angeles Taxicab Commission said it will decide next month on a uniform, city-approved application for taxicabs.

Meanwhile at LAX Airport, officials are trying to figure out whether rideshare companies should be allowed to operate legally. Currently, cars from those companies are not allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Passengers can only be dropped off.

At today's airport commission meeting, dozens of Uber and Lyft drivers made their case for full access to LAX.

"As a resident of L.A., I want to be able to have that option here like I do in other cities that I travel to," said Laura Hunt, a Lyft customer.

Lyft driver, Keegan Hamren agreed and said the extra business would help her and the city.

"Having the airport open would be really beneficial to me because it brings a lot of money to L.A.," Hamren said.

But a representative for taxicab companies said rideshare companies need to do a better job of screening their drivers.

"The business model is to provide the service as cheaply as possible and where they save money is on background checks for drivers," said Tim Mcosker, a representative of the Taxicab Association.

But rideshare companies state they put their drivers through extensive criminal background checks. Reps for rideshare and Uber also told commissioners they provide drivers with the state-mandated insurance policies.

The current proposal under consideration by the airport commission includes limiting the amount of rideshare drivers that can operate at the airport and having rideshare drivers pay $4 per trip, which will create a staging area for rideshare drivers.

Commissioners did not take any action on the issue today, but they hope to have a policy in place by next month.

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