Ride-share operator Lyft's New York launch hit snag

Jul 12, 2014
A customer gets into a Lyft car in San Francisco, California on January 21, 2014

Ride-share operator Lyft was forced Friday to postpone its planned launch in New York after a court intervened over demands that it satisfy local safety and licensing requirements.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and financial services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said they sought a temporary restraining order after talks broke down with Lyft.

The move came hours ahead of the planned release of Lyft, a ride-sharing service that operates in 60 US cities and competes with the likes of Uber.

"As a result of that action, the court has granted the state a temporary restraining order preventing Lyft from launching this evening in New York City," Lawsky and Schneiderman said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Lyft denied that the court had granted a temporary but told AFP that the company had agreed to hold its launch.

"There was no TRO granted today—the judged adjourned to Monday and we agreed to hold our launch," she said.

Schneiderman and Lawsky said they had gone to "only after repeatedly offering to work with Lyft in order to ensure that its business practices complied with the law."

"We are pro-innovation and pro-competition, but allowing Lyft to flout dozens of different laws would, in addition to putting the safety of New Yorkers at risk, put law-abiding competitors at a substantial disadvantage," they added.

Lyft said this week it had recruited 500 drivers in the Big Apple and that 75,000 New Yorkers had downloaded its mobile application ahead of the launch.

The San Francisco-based firm contends the service, which uses a smartphone app and geolocation, is needed and saves money for consumers.

But the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission quickly sought to put the brakes on the new service.

The municipal agency said Lyft "is unauthorized in New York City" and has failed to comply with safety and licensing requirements.

The squabble over Lyft is the latest in a simmering war that has played out in cities around the world, where new car-dispatching apps have been challenging regulated taxi services.

Explore further: Rideshare vs. taxi: the war flares up in the Big Apple

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

California adopts car-sharing service regulations

Sep 19, 2013

Web-based car-sharing companies will have to make sure drivers undergo training and criminal background checks and have commercial liability insurance under rules approved Thursday by California regulators.

Recommended for you

EU Parliament votes to break up Google

Nov 27, 2014

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet ...

Toyota finds new air bag issue, recalls more cars

Nov 27, 2014

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more than 40,000 vehicles in Japan on Thursday as part of a worldwide scare over defective air bags and is investigating a new type of air bag problem that could lead to further recalls.

Netflix sues Yahoo CIO for alleged kickbacks

Nov 26, 2014

Netflix is suing a former company vice president who is now chief information officer at Yahoo, accusing him of receiving money from vendors he hired to work with the video streaming company.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Jul 12, 2014
I wonder rhetorically why financial services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky has such concern about the safety of New Yorkers?

Taxis are a dying industry. The advent of driverless cars will pretty much nail the coffin closed. In the mean time we taxi customers have to endure the likes of expensive, rude medallion taxis protected by their exclusive relationship with their cities.
BSD
not rated yet Jul 12, 2014
Not science. it's legal.

Perhaps when you report the first safe human teleportation device, then it will be interesting and scientific.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.