Ban Against Lyft Ride Sharing Service Extended in St. Louis

July 16, 2014

A St. Louis, Mo., judge extended a temporary restraining order that bans the ride-sharing service Lyft from operating in the city or St. Louis County.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty said this week that Lyft cannot operate until a hearing Aug. 25 to determine whether she should impose a permanent ban, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lyft pairs drivers in their own vehicles with passengers who use a smartphone app. The service operates on rider contributions, though the manager of government relations for Lyft testified that “there is an expectation of payment.”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission is seeking the ban, contending that Lyft should be required to follow the same regulations as taxicabs and limousine services.

Moriarty wrote that the Taxicab Commission has a “high likelihood of success” in its case. She also questioned Lyft’s background checks and noted that their drivers do not undergo drug testing or driver training.

She said she recognizes the importance of new businesses and public interest in more traveling options. But she added the court has to balance those interests with the public’s safety and city and county transportation regulations.

Without a preliminary injunction, she wrote, “there is a substantial threat of irreparable harm to MTC and the traveling public.”

Lyft argued that it’s losing at least $30,000 every week from the temporary restraining order.

The ride-sharing service is also facing a challenge in Kansas City, where drivers have been allowed to continue operating until a Sept. 17 hearing to consider the city’s objections to its operations.

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