​Lyft's NYC Ride-Sharing Launch Delayed After Restraining Order

Illustration for article titled ​Lyft's NYC Ride-Sharing Launch Delayed After Restraining Order

Lyft was set to launch in Brooklyn and Queens tonight at 7 PM, but the riding-sharing service just delayed its plans after two restraining orders from the New York Attorney General and the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission told the start-up to keep its mustaches at home.


Like Uber, Sidecar, and other ridesharing services, Lyft lets users summon a ride (in a pink-mustachioed car) through a smartphone app. And like Uber, Sidecar, and other ridesharing services, local taxi and livery companies aren't pleased.

But what's different about Lyft is that it's more ride-sharing than taxi-replacing. Drivers use their own cars, similar to Uber, but it's more of a pay-to-hitchhike scheme than calling a Town Car.

Lyft announced plans to launch in New York with two weeks worth of free rides in Brooklyn and Queens, two historically underserved boroughs for both taxis and public transit (and also a good place to start PR-wise). But that plan may be dashed with the legal actions taken by the city attorney and the TLC which claims the service is illegal. And Lyft had to see it coming.

Lyft met with the TLC earlier this week to discuss the roll-out, with the TLC offering to work with the company to comply with the law, but Lyft had no intentions of waiting while the bureaucratic machine crawled into action.

The TLC responded by sending out a warning to Lyft drivers that it planned to enforce local taxi laws by fining drivers up to $2,000 if they were caught picking up riders and confiscating cars of TLC-certified drivers using the app to find fares.


Lyft is running in over 60 cities in the U.S., and NYC is just the latest in a string of legal problems that Lyft and other ride-sharing companies have faced.

Bloomberg reports that Lyft is delaying the launch until July 14 and is Lyft is saying that it's, "in a legal process with local regulators today and will proceed accordingly."


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We're running into quite the conundrum.

Technology and business is developing faster than the squeaky, cash greased wheels of the law will turn.

Privately owned RC helicopters with cameras (an old thing) are now being called drones (which gives them a negative connotation since the community thinks weaponized platforms when they hear that term), and private companies that use them for amazing video work are getting slapped for it. Lets not forget the whole "drone" delivery programs. The FAA is behind the times.

Supreme Court justices are also behind entirely. Many of them probably require a jitterbug to make phone calls.

Same goes with the whole dealership only clauses states have, blocking companies like Tesla from selling direct.

This country needs to seriously unfuck itself. It's not a free market, it's more of a free [if you pay the right people] market.