UberX, Lyft Pickups Cleared for LAX

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The L.A. City Council cleared the way for the ridesharing services to operate at the airport as soon as the next few weeks.

UberX and Lyft could soon be rolling into LAX. 

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved in a 9-6 vote plans to allow the ridesharing services to pick up passengers at the airport. The move clears Uber and Lyft to apply for permits from the airport that gives their cost-effective ridesharing services the ability to operate alongside taxis at LAX.

Until now, UberX and Lyft drivers were able to drop passengers off at the airport, but only commercially licensed drivers for Uber's premium services such as UberPlus and UberSUV could also pick them up.

Last month, the airport announced plans to permit UberX and Lyft into LAX but the issue has since been strongly debated. In three separate hearings, Uber and Lyft drivers flocked to City Hall to argue their case, while taxi drivers have largely opposed opening up the airport to such services. 

In addition to approving UberX and Lyft for airport pickups, the City Council recommended that state regulator the California Public Utilities Commission add fingerprinting to background checks of all for-hire drivers, which includes limousines, shuttles and rideshare services. 

Los Angeles is the largest city in the country to adopt ridesharing at its airport. There is no clear timeline for the decision's implementation but it could be a matter of weeks until both UberX and Lyft are operating at the airport. 

"Consumers won today, and we applaud the City Council for welcoming ridesharing to the airport," a Lyft spokeswoman said in a statement.