Earlier this month, the City Council approved a measure I introduced that urges the state to act on tougher background checks and the city to study fingerprint-based background checks on all transportation services that provide rides in Los Angeles.
The Council action was part of a vote accepting the Board of Airport Commissioners' decision to allow ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to operate at LAX.
I voted to reject the agreement because I wasn't convinced that the background checks these services provide are adequate enough to keep the public safe.
LAX is the fifth busiest airport in the world. It is the gateway to the west, the hub for our booming tourist industry and a driving force in our local and regional economies. In 2014, more than 70 million passengers traveled through it.
LAX is also a city asset and we are obligated to think about important decisions that could impact its operations and the services it offers to its passengers.
Allowing Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers at LAX is a large and complex policy question that will impact millions of travelers. It was imperative that the City Council weigh in.
New forms of transportation are helpful to the public and popular for consumers. I want to continue to expand transit options in Los Angeles. At the same time, implementing adequate safety standards, including fingerprint-based background checks, is essential for the people of Los Angeles.
The robust discussion the Council had on the operation of transportation companies has changed the public discourse on how to keep people safe when they use ride-hailing services. What started out as a debate about access to LAX led to a more comprehensive discussion on the future of transportation services in Los Angeles and in California.
The state should create the uniform standards we need to protect the public. If the state doesn't act, then we will. The measure I introduced will allow us to do that.
We have to ensure that all transportation options at LAX and throughout our city are safe, accessible and equitable to everyone.