LAX

Founded in 1983 to Serve LAX, SuperShuttle is Going Out of Business

The familiar blue and yellow shared ride vans will stop shuttling passengers to and from airports by the end of the year

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The seemingly ever-present blue and yellow vans have been part of the blur of activity at LAX for nearly four decades.

SuperShuttle, the shared ride service founded in 1983 to serve the airport, is coming to a stop -- for good.

The service will cease operations by the end of the year, according to a letter from the company to a Los Angeles-area franchisee and obtained by NBCLA. SuperShuttle will honor all reservations and walk-up requests for service through Dec. 31.

The company expanded nationwide and to Latin America, Canada, Europe and Asia after taking off at LAX. In recent years, it has faced competition from Uber and Lyft and pulled out of airports serving many Burbank, Sacramento, Phoenix, Baltimore, Minneapolis and other cities.

Drivers at LAX Friday told NBCLA they've been told through email that the company is shutting down.

SuperShuttle executives could not be reached for official comment. Two SuperShuttle reservation agents reached by telephone confirmed to the Times that the company was going out of business. A company executive who was not authorized to speak publicly also confirmed that information to the Times.

Its closure means passengers are losing one of the few curbside pickup options at LAX. The airport recently rolled out LAXIt, a program designed to ease congestion in the busy horseshoe area by moving Lyft, Uber and taxis to a pickup lot next to Terminal 1.

Travelers can either walk there or wait for an airport shuttle to get to the lot.

The letter to the franchisee cited "a variety of factors" for the company's closure, "including increasing costs and changes in the competitive and regulatory landscape" that "have called into question the economic and operational viability of the company's operations."

SuperShuttle is owned by an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, a private investment firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, court documents show. Blackstreet describes itself as specializing in acquiring small or mid-size firms "that are in out-of-favor industries or are undergoing some form of transition."

Blackstreet acquired SuperShuttle in September from Transdev on Demand Inc., which is part of the Transdev Group of France, according to a lawsuit Transdev filed against Blackstreet this month in Delaware Chancery Court in a dispute over some terms of the transaction.

Officials at Blackstreet could not immediately be reached for comment on SuperShuttle's suspended services or on how SuperShuttle's services are divided between company-owned operators and franchisees.

SuperShuttle's website shows that the firm provided service to more than 80 airports worldwide, including those in Southern California, before the firm began suspending services in many locations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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