On Friday night I tweeted that Sidecar, like UberX, was also pulling its services from Los Angeles International Airport. But upon further review, I see that is not exactly true.
According to an email I received from the company, Sidecar has advised its drivers that they should probably avoid LAX due to increased enforcement of airport regulations by police.
But they’re leaving that decision up to drivers, who are essentially independent contractors. So you can still use the app to order a Sidecar. But whether they come is another matter. (The good news is that even if your driver gets cited for an illegal pickup, you’ll be free to go.)
Here is the communique from Sidecar to its drivers:
“We’ve heard rumblings that there are increased enforcement actions against ridesharing companies picking up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). As you know, we’ve worked diligently with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to work out a ridesharing solution for this issue. The CPUC passed regulations in September, including requiring that ridesharing companies not operate at airports without authority. Until now, we’ve had no indicator from LAX that we would not be allowed to operate.
In light of this enforcement, we want to let you know that we are working hard to get this situation resolved ASAP. In the meantime and until the situation is resolved, we are advising that you avoid picking up passengers at LAX.
Where, when, and who you drive has always been up to you. As you know, Sidecar does not employ, direct, or dispatch drivers to pick up or take any passenger. Should you decide to rideshare with someone whose pickup or destination is LAX, we will be unable to pay any fines, provide legal assistance, or otherwise assist you in light of the CPUC regulations. Therefore, these rides are totally up to you.
Hopefully, LAX’s attitude towards ridesharing will change soon, and when it does, you can be sure we’ll update you immediately!”