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Catching a cab at LAX will cost more as officials give new contract to taxi management firm

Cabs line up just outside LAX. Under the deal, passengers catching cabs at the airport will see the per-trip surcharge jump from $2.50 to $4.00. That is on top of the fare.

Under the contract, the city says, LAX will experience an almost four-fold increase in revenues, from $700,000 per year to an annual average of $2.7 million.

The council voted unanimously to grant the contract to the current provider, Authorized Taxicab Supervision.

The firm manages an airport-area holding lot and dispatches cabs to LAX terminals for passenger pickup. Although it is a nonprofit entity, Authorized Taxicab Supervision collects millions of dollars in fees each year from drivers at the busy airport. The firm and its predecessor company have managed and controlled the entry of cabs to LAX arrival areas for more than 20 years.

A 2007 audit by the city controller’s office identified sundry shortcomings in the firm’s operations, including questionable cash payments to its board members -- the presidents of the nine taxi companies with city franchises. The audit also found that LAX management had failed to provide adequate oversight. The company and LAX officials say the problems identified in the audit are being resolved.

A taxi driver’s advocacy group -- the Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance, which says it represents the interests of thousands of cabbies, many of them immigrants -- argued that the audit demonstrated that Authorized Taxicab Supervision should be replaced and investigated. But LAX officials say the company offered the best proposal among four bidders for the job.

Last year, the council renewed the city’s controversial taxi franchise system for five years despite complaints from the Taxi Workers Alliance that the deal amounted to a lucrative cash giveaway for the politically connected cab industry. City cabs generate some $180 million in annual revenue, according to official estimates.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa argued for a two-year extension while the issue was studied.

Industry executives argued that the five-year renewal was needed to ensure continued service and reduce pollution.

RELATED:

L.A. City Council to consider increasing fares for airport taxicabs

-- Patrick J. McDonnell at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Cabs line up just outside LAX. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

"questionable cash payments"...."in the process of being resolved."
How? A firm fails an audit and because it gives the lowest bid, is rehired?
Why?

As one who travels in and out of LAX between 3-5 times a year, I have always found the Taxi distribution mechanism very inefficient. I have waited twenty minutes at a cab line, and then on leaving the airport notice a well stocked pool. Now I know who to blame... "Authorized", at least they don't have "good" or "efficient" in their name, so it is the truth.

taxi driver! another job that americans won't do!

Just another lie from our elected leaders.

I have an idea to reduce pollution.... Extend the green line to the airport.

How will this reduce pollution?

How can it be a not for profit entity? Is it staffed by volunteers?
Is it a California 501(3)c nonprofit?

we need to get the transit line in place (that goes directly to LAX) instead of being stopped 2 miles away (so that the cab companies can make a profit)

What a racket! I'm guessing this is the same company that pitched a fit to keep a train from going all the way to LAX? Nice to see crony monopolism at its 'finest'. LA Times, you should investigate this company and the council members that approved this, like you did with Bell.

Okay folks... time to organize to beat this ridiculous surcharge and here's how:

Leave the airport and grab a shuttle to ANY Hotel on the Century strip. Get off the bus and hail a cab and save $4.00!

I know I will from now on. The surcharge price just got enough to make such an action worth my while.

I don't mind helping the city by paying a higher surcharge when I grab a cab at LAX. But it would have been nice if they'd finished investigating the cab industry bigwigs BEFORE putting them in charge of millions of dollars more, rather than after.

This is a ploy behind the liberal union backing Antonio Villar and his union taxi drivers. Why do we still not have a train that goes directly into LAX? What kind of a 3rd world city is LA? Look at China, Hong Kong, Europe? You have your choice of how you want to go home. Someone needs to nuke LAX and start over. Too bad the desalination / power plant near LAX is not nuclear or we could start there. America...reinvent yourself

You could see this coming. This is a very sweet deal no doubt for every one concerned except the customer's and the drivers. But this is how it has been since the super regulators have started their thing. When will enough be enough is the question. At what point in time will the abused customer revolt and say we will make other arrangements. In this day and age of social media this revolt is coming. Customer will start to not take cabs. Drivers will loose money The Bandits will run wild. May Day made a lot of sense he left them hanging with out any taxi services. This will happen again. Count on it. $4.00 for the privilege of taking a cab. Unbelievable. My quote on my site is Know Before You Go. And just think they want to lock Cabdrivers up for over charging. Who should be doing the time now? This should be a crime.


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