Lyft’s run in New York City may be startlingly short-lived.
The ride-sharing company known for the now-ubiquitous pink mustache on its cars announced on Tuesday that it would begin operating in the Big Apple, even though it didn’t have permission from the city’s Taxi and Limo Commission (TLC).
Today the TLC released a statement calling Lyft “unauthorised in New York City.”
“Lyft has not complied with TLC’s safety requirements and other licensing criteria to verify the integrity and qualifications of the drivers or vehicles used in their service, and Lyft does not hold a licence to dispatch cars to pick up passengers,” said the statement.
TLC Chair Meera Joshi released her own statement on Lyft’s NYC operations.
“Every rider deserves the safety and consumer protections our rules provide, and we have a long track record of working successfully with innovative companies to help them start out the right way,” she said. “We’re still hopeful that Lyft will accept our offer to help them do the right thing for New York City passengers as they should, but New Yorkers can rest assured that the TLC will do its job and take the actions necessary to protect them.”
Joshi’s “offer” refers to the Commission’s “wish to work with [Lyft] to help them comply with the laws and rules that are central to protecting public safety and consumer rights, as we have with SO many other companies with new and innovative approaches,” said a TLC official.
The TLC’s statement also included a warning to would-be Lyft drivers, claiming they would be subject to legal action from the Commission.
“Unsuspecting drivers who sign
-up with Lyft are at risk of losing their vehicles to TLC enforcement action, as well as being subject to fines of up to $US2,000 upon conviction for unlicensed activity,” it said.
Lyft has not responded to a request for comment, but we will update this if they do.