Airport operator, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), has given UberX permission to begin passenger pick-ups at LAX from 8am today, claiming that the decision gives travellers "expanded transportation options".
"We are bringing LAX passengers what they have been asking for — better access to reliable, convenient transportation from the airport," says Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti.
“As we invest billions to make LAX one of the world’s great airports — and welcome more travellers than ever before — my administration is ensuring the best experience possible for all our visitors.”
The arrival of Uber – and specifically the company’s UberX service – is a key milestone as City officials work to provide additional services and convenience at LAX.
Pick-ups by transportation network companies, or TNC’s, was allowed after a thorough policy development process that included input from stakeholders such as passengers, neighbourhood groups, transportation network companies, taxi cab and limo companies, and disability and environmental advocates.
"Uber has changed the way Angelenos and visitors to Los Angeles move around our city. Over the last year we have worked to bring Uber to LAX in a way that is regulated, monitored, and above all, safe," explains Council member Bob Blumenfield, the chair of the Los Angeles City Council’s Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce and Trade Committee, which oversees the airport.
"As we continue to break records at LAX, I’m proud to finally welcome Uber and its users to Los Angeles International Airport. It’s what people want, expect and deserve."
Uber’s service begins as passenger activity at LAX hits an all-time high. Last week, Mayor Garcetti and airport leaders announced that in 2015, an estimated 74.5 million people passed through LAX, more than ever in its history.
According to LAWA, the announcement comes at a critical moment in LAX’s history as it is currently undergoing an $8.5-billion modernisation programme to renovate nearly every terminal at LAX.
Another $5 billion will be invested over the next few years in bringing rail to the airport, and adding a consolidated rent-a-car facility.
Now, with Uber beginning pickups, it says passengers will have even more options for transportation from the airport.
The San Francisco-based company becomes the second ride-service provider to be licensed at the airport, following Lyft’s launch on December 23.
Uber will pay the airport $4 per trip, similar to fees paid by other airport transportation providers to maintain roadways and to reduce traffic congestion in the Central Terminal Area.
Deborah Flint, chief executive officer of Los Angeles World Airports, says: “Ride-hailing services are proving to be very popular with our airport guests.
"Data from the first two weeks of the service show there were nearly 50,000 drop-off and pick-up trips. Travellers benefit, as well as the airport. Revenue generated will be invested to continue improving LAX.”