Rideshare Firm Lyft Works Out Deal to Operate in New York City

July 25, 2014

New York State officials announced today rideshare firm Lyft has agreed to operate in New York City in full compliance with existing laws and regulations. The announcement comes two weeks after the state’s attorney general’s office and the state’s Department of Financial Services sued Lyft to stop its scheduled launch in the city.

The lawsuit argued the rideshare firm operates as a traditional for-hire livery service using mobile technology, not a peer-to-peer transportation platform. Authorities also alleged Lyft began operating in Buffalo and Rochester without authorizations in April and already violates various laws.

Under the agreement announced today, Lyft will launch in New York City with commercial drivers only and will operate in a manner that is consistent with existing laws and regulations. In addition, the firm will suspend its current operations in Buffalo and Rochester by August 1 and has committed that it will work with the state so that any future business it undertakes in New York State is in full compliance with the law, according to the announcement.

“We are pleased that our offices have reached an agreement today with Lyft. We are firmly committed to the notion that regulators can work constructively with companies so that new ideas can come to the market — and that smart regulation should create an environment where innovators can compete,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York State Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said in a joint statement. “Lyft’s launch in New York City — in full compliance with laws and regulations — is proof positive of this principle.”

“We will continue to work with Lyft so that any future business it undertakes meets that standard and protects consumer safety,” Schneiderman and Lawsky said. “We look forward to exploring solutions that enable companies in the sharing economy to operate and thrive throughout New York State.”

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