Airport commissioners voted Tuesday to postpone by a month their plans to reduce shuttle van operations at Los Angeles International Airport in order to give operators granted exclusive concessions under the plan time to secure required state permits.
By a 4-0 vote, the panel decided to set a May 1 launch date for the program. As part of Tuesday's motion, the Airport Board of Commissioners also gave the state Public Utilities Commission until May 1 to issue the permits before the airport re-crafts the terms of the shuttle plan and essentially makes the permits moot.
Unless challenged or revised, the panel's decision means SuperShuttle, Xpress Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle will on May 1 become the only full-service operators allowed to ferry walk-up passengers from the airport. Other operators will still be allowed to drop off passengers and pick up those with reservations. At present, more than three dozen shuttle firms compete for passengers at LAX.
Several small operators contend that shutting them out of the walk-up trade will put them out of business. LAX maintains that the plan is necessary to ease pollution and traffic at the nation's third-busiest airport.