Explaining Southern California's economy

Will LAX follow San Francisco's lead allowing ridesharing pickup service?

lax airport

Photo by John Murphy via Flickr Creative Commons

You can take UberX and Lyft to Los Angeles International Airport; but it's still not legal to order a pickup service.

As much as Angelenos hate to admit it, many things that start in the Bay Area end up in Los Angeles, like Blue Bottle Coffee, and ridesharing. 

This week, San Francisco International boasted about becoming the first airport to reach agreements with the two biggest ridesharing companies.

“We are committed to be an industry leader, creating a roadmap for innovative business models like Lyft and UberX to operate legally in an airport,” said Airport Director John L. Martin, in a press release. “We’re proud to be the first airport in the U.S. to have both signed permits from both companies."

So what about Los Angeles? Currently, you can take UberX and Lyft to LAX, but you can't use the popular ridesharing services for an airport pickup. The higher cost Uber Black service is an exception. It will pick you up because drivers already have the necessary permits.


New survey: Which NFL team should relocate to Los Angeles?

NFL generic

Pamela Albin Moore/iStockphoto

Could new market research be a sign that the NFL is ready to bring a team back to Los Angeles?

The NFL wants to know which team Los Angeles residents would like to see relocated here. They also hope to gauge how much locals would be willing to pay for premium seats in a new stadium. 

A new survey, obtained by KPCC, is adding to growing speculation that after years of flirting with Los Angeles, the league could finally be getting serious about coming back.

The questionnaire avoids singling out the teams more likely to move here - the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders. Instead, it lets respondents choose among all 32 NFL teams. 

"Please specify which existing NFL team you would most prefer to relocate to the Los Angeles area," the survey instructs, before adding the caveat: "Please note that there are a number of NFL teams that have existing, long-term stadium leases and well-established fan bases, and are not candidates to relocate to the Los Angeles area."


New Dodger leadership: Will Friedman use Wall Street savvy to unload toxic team assets?

Kasten and Friedman

Ben Bergman/KPCC

Dodgers President and part-owner Stan Kasten (right) introduced Andrew Friedman, the team's new President of Baseball Operations

As we all know by now, the Dodgers, despite having the highest payroll in sports and another promising regular season – ended up with another disappointing exit from the playoffs.  On Friday, the team formally introduced Andrew Friedman, its new President of Baseball Operations, someone who the Dodgers hope can help them reach The World Series by using lessons he learned on Wall Street. 

Before becoming General Manager of The Tampa Bay Rays at the age of 28, Friedman spent three years in private equity and another two working for Bear Stearns, a firm that later imploded. 

"I think my experience in investment banking and private equity helped me a lot coming into the game," Friedman said Friday. "It helped me appreciate information is king, and there's no such thing as having too much information."


Profit off your parking spot? Santa Monica could become latest city to ban it

San Francisco's Parking Ticket Fees To Become Nation's Most Expensive

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A row of parking meters line O'Farrell Street in San Francisco, California.

So you found a great place to park, and now you're about to leave. Should you be able to sell your public spot to the next desperate driver? A host of new apps could help you do it, but California city governments have typically responded by banning the practice soon after – or even before – it becomes available.

Santa Monica could become the latest city to prohibit the auctioning of public parking spots Tuesday night. The city's proposed ordinance is a response to an app called MonkeyParking that arrived unwelcome in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica back in August. 

The company says the app helps reduce the problem of drivers having to circle around the block; but a city of Santa Monica staff report, recommending passage of the new ordinance, points out traffic and parking problems that could accompany the app .


405 traffic: A little slower after $1 billion upgrade

Over 35 Million Americans Expected To Travel For Memorial Day Weekend

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Traffic is shown creeping along on northbound I-405 in Los Angeles on May 27, 2011. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Los Angeles's 405 Freeway Closes Completely For Bridge Repair

David McNew/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA: One of the busiest freeways in California, the 405, stood vacant as workers demolished the south side of Mulholland overpass on the freeway during a 53-hour total freeway closure on July 16, 2011. The bridge was demolished as part of a $1 billion project to add carpool lanes and make other improvements along the 405 freeway from Orange County to the city of San Fernando. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Freeway Clears Out Ahead Of Major Repairs

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Crews shut down an on ramp to the Interstate 405 on Sepulveda Boluevard in the San Fernando Valley, advising motorists of the shutdown of the freeway to demolish the Mulholland Bridge over Interstate 405 at the Sepulveda Pass on July 15, 2011. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Freeway Clears Out Ahead Of Major Repairs

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Construction workers using heavy machinery begin demolishing the Mulholland Bridge over Interstate 405 at the Sepulveda Pass in the early hours of July 16, 2011 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Transit agencies spent five years and more than a billion dollars improving a stretch of the 405 freeway, in a massive project that gave us the term "Carmageddon" as crews shut down the freeway to complete upgrades. But now, after opening one of the main achievements - a ten-mile carpool lane - it doesn't appear that traffic is moving any faster during rush hour.  In fact, one study suggests travel times have slowed a bit following all of the construction - by about a minute. 

INRIX, a traffic analysis firm, examined the Northbound 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The study compared travel times from the middle two weeks of September, 2013 (with only a 1.7 mile stretch of the carpool lane open) to the same period this year (with the full 10-mile carpool lane in service for nearly five months.) The average travel time this September was 35 minutes, roughly a minute slower than last September.