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Uber and other car-hailing businesses get a tryout at Long Beach Airport

Uber and other car-hailing businesses get a tryout at Long Beach Airport
Under the pilot program, which will last at least six months, car-hailing companies pay Long Beach $3 a trip to pick up passengers at Long Beach Airport. Above, a driver displays Lyft and Uber stickers on the front windshield. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

Long Beach Airport is the only airport in Southern California that doesn’t allow car-hailing businesses such as Uber and Lyft to pick up travelers at the terminals.

That is about to change. The regional airport has announced that it will launch a pilot program, starting April 5, to allow the car-hailing businesses to pick up and drop off passengers at the airport.

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"This is a great opportunity to modernize our regulations and allow taxis and ride-share companies an environment to compete fairly while still improving services for travelers," Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said.

Last year, the city had considered joining every other airport in the region in allowing such businesses but decided to study the idea first.

Until the pilot program starts, the airport allows ride-hailing businesses such as Uber to drop passengers off at the airport but they can't pick up.

Under the pilot program, which will last at least six months, the car-hailing companies pay the city $3 a trip to pick up passengers at the terminal. Once the pilot program is completed, the Long Beach City Council will consider adopting a law to permanently allow the businesses to operate at the airport, city officials said.

Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Hollywood Burbank Airport and San Diego International Airport have similar financial arrangements to have car-hailing companies pay a fee of $2.25 to $4 per trip.

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.

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