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L.A. City Council Approves Plan to Allow Uber and Lyft Pickups at LAX

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A driver with Uber and Lyft stickers on a car's windshield is seen at LAX's departures level in July 2015. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

In a nod to consumer demands and the realities of disruptive technology, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation Wednesday to open the door for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to fully operate alongside taxis at its airport.

After weeks of debate over the potential risks of app-based ride companies, the L.A. City Council approved a policy that would allow Uber and Lyft to apply for permits to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Aiport, a service they’re currently barred from providing.

Fueled by lobbying spending by taxi companies and their new rapidly growing competitors, lawmakers have spent weeks discussing whether the background checks used by Uber and Lyft to screen their tens of thousands of drivers put customers at risk.

Taxi companies have complained that the start-ups have an unfair competitive advantage because their drivers are held to less stringent standards than licensed cabbies.

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