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Let’s start with the bottom line: as of 8AM today, UberX can finally pick up passengers at LAX.
UberX can now do pick-ups at LAX
UberX is ridiculously cheap in Los Angeles, and those same prices apply when departing the airport, though there’s also a $4 airport origination fee. Furthermore, those using UberX or UberXL will need to meet their vehicle on the upper level, which is typically for departures. There’s a specially designated area for “ride service” there. This requirement doesn’t apply to licensed UberBLACK cars, who can pick up passengers on the arrivals level.
Just to give an example of an Uber fare estimate between LAX and the Andaz West Hollywood (which I often stay at, and can take up to an hour to get to in traffic), here are the fare estimates for the various types of Ubers:
As you can see, an UberX costs just $23-30 (which is less than half of what a taxi costs), while an UberBLACK costs $73-93. If you don’t yet have an Uber account, you can sign-up and get your first ride of up to $15 for free (which will get you pretty far in LA).
Background on the ridesharing battle at LAX
For a bit of background, several weeks ago Lyft started picking up passengers out of LAX, as they beat Uber to the punch. That’s sort of a similar timeline to what happened at Las Vegas McCarran Airport last year, where Lyft got permission to operate in late-October, while UberX only got permission to operate in early December.
The ridesharing “battle” for LAX has been going on for a long time now, so it’s great to see both Lyft and UberX operating out of LAX at last. Last July, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved UberX and Lyft to pick up passengers at the airport, and while they were hoping to launch by August, bureaucracy got in the way. But several months later we do finally have the ridesharing apps at LAX.
Via the Los Angeles Times, it’s interesting to note how successful Lyft has been at LAX so far:
During Lyft’s first two weeks of full operations, drivers picked up and dropped off more than 50,000 people, airport officials said.
That’s huge business, especially when you consider how much smaller Lyft is than Uber.
It’s also interesting to note some of the arrangements here, specifically about the limitations on the number of drivers who can be at the airport at any one time, and the minimum amount the ridesharing services have to pay the airport every month (which I can’t imagine they’ll have any trouble meeting):
No more than 40 drivers per company are allowed in that area at one time.
The LAX permit requires Lyft and Uber to each pay the airport a minimum of $25,000 per month from $4 fees for each drop-off and pickup. The fees, passed along to passengers, will go to the airport’s general operating budget.
UberX being able to pick up passengers at LAX is great news, especially given what a bargain UberX is in the LA-area. I’ll certainly be using them for my future rides from the airport.
Do you plan on using UberX the next time you arrive at LAX?