LAX Vs. Ride-Sharing Services: Cab Companies Whine

"We're implementing a $3 mustache fee for ... services and such."Credit: Tribute/ Homenaje / Foter / CC BYBrian Sumers of the (Torrance, Calif.) Daily Breeze notes that despite a recent decision by California’s Public Utility Commission to legalize and allow (by which I mean “heavily regulate”) ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, the Los Angeles International Airport is still technically forbidding them from picking up passengers there under threat of fines:

Proponents of what’s called the sharing economy cheered in September when the state Public Utilities Commission created a new class of regulated transportation companies, clearing the way for the three firms and others like them to operate statewide. The decision rendered moot a cease-and-desist notice — which no one actually followed — sent by the Los Angeles taxicab administrator, who had warned the companies they were not licensed to operate in the city.

Most saw the decision as carte blanche for ride-share drivers to pick up customers anywhere in California. But that’s not true. The decision left intact regulations that allow airports to decide who may pick up on their property.

And according to LAX rules and regulations, casual ride-sharing drivers may not pick up passengers in the Central Terminal Area. Drivers breaking the guidelines can receive administrative citations from the Los Angeles World Airports Police. (Airport rules still permit anyone to drop off passengers.)

Taxi rules for LAX extract an additional $4 from cabbies per trip, half of which goes to the taxi program, half of which goes to the airport. Ride-sharing services don’t collect these fees, obviously, because why would they? Sumers spoke with William Rouse, general manager of Yellow Cab, who invoked “the rules”:

“What concerns me is that, again, our industry is being assessed millions of dollars in fees,” Rouse said. “We’re playing by the rules. These businesses have thumbed their noses at the rules since the day they were founded. They never met a rule that they didn’t intend to get around.”

Everybody should understand that Rouse’s industry wrote many of those rules, and those “fees” are designed to keep competition from entering the marketplace to the benefit the owners of cab companies (though generally not the actual cab drivers).

Eric Garcetti, the new mayor of Los Angeles, suggested through a spokesperson that changes may be on the way to allow ride-sharers “the right” to serve the airport legally. I can only assume the changes won’t result in a reduction of these “fees” Rouse groused about, but rather an agreement by ride-sharing services to collect and hand over some, thus driving up their prices, too.

Read the whole story here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Adam330||

    How are the enforcers at LAX going to know I'm not picking up my sister or cousin?

  • robc||

    This is what Im wondering.

    If its a pre-arranged pickup, how is that any different than me having my parents pick me up?

    I almost always leave my car at my parents, its close to the airport, I can call them from the tarmac and they can be at the terminal by the time I get off the plane and out.

    As long as the ride-share people dont get in the taxi service line, they are just a regular pickup.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    I predict they will run sting ops using fake pickup requests.

  • JW||

    People choosing their own means of transportation? Where will that kind of chaos lead to?

    Oh right, everyone, but the monopolists and their toady parasites, richer.

  • sloopyinca||

    Alt-alt-text: Who wants a mustache ride?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    goddamit you beat me to it.

  • Zeb||

    These businesses have thumbed their noses at the rules since the day they were founded. They never met a rule that they didn’t intend to get around.

    I'm trying to figure out how that is not a good thing.

  • R C Dean||

    They never met a rule that they didn’t intend to get around.

    Ahh, the old "compliance is a loophole" complaint.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And according to LAX rules and regulations, casual ride-sharing drivers may not pick up passengers in the Central Terminal Area.

    It's because filthy lucre has changed hands. Damn that money, making everything so cooperative and messy. We need order and power and a heavy baton beating down the proles.

  • rhofulster||

    I thought Garcetti was Maryland's guv.

  • 619 Limo||

    Why would you choose the companies (like uberx and lyft) that never meet the rules, instead of choosing more secure local transportation companies?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement