After a two-week delay, ride-sharing startup Lyft will launch in New York City Friday night.
But Lyft had to make some concessions. It can only use licensed vehicles from the TLC.
Still, those concessions mean Lyft will be able to operate in all of New York’s boroughs, not just Brooklyn and Queens, which was the original plan.
In other cities, Lyft lets just about anyone with a car become a driver, but many government regulators don’t like that.
Lyft service begins in New York at 7 p.m. Friday.
Here’s the full announcement from Lyft:
Tonight, after making positive progress with local and state leaders, Lyft will launch in all five boroughs of New York City. We’ve finalised an agreement to offer immediate access to our friendly, affordable rides through a TLC-licensed model beginning at 7 p.m. Lyft will serve all corners of the city from Manhattan to Staten Island, starting with a limited beta launch and then a full rollout in coming weeks. Now, residents and visitors looking to travel between boroughs, get to the closest subway station, or head out for a night on the town can easily request a safe and reliable ride.
This agreement is the first big step in finding a home for Lyft’s peer-to-peer model in New York. Community-powered transportation — neighbours driving neighbours in their personal cars — ensures broader access to more affordable rides in places with limited transit options, like the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. We’ll continue to work with the TLC, Department of Financial Services, and the Attorney General’s office to craft new rules for peer-to-peer transportation in New York. We look forward to bringing the most affordable options to the areas that need it most, powered by their local residents.
As part of our agreement to move forward in New York City, Lyft will pause operations in Buffalo and Rochester by August 1st, while we work with the Attorney General’s Office and Department of Financial Services to align New York State’s insurance laws and regulations with emerging technologies of the 21st century. More than 10,000 local supporters have already signed Lyft’s petition to bring ridesharing to New York. Now that we’ve outlined a path forward with state leaders, we will work together to make peer-to-peer policy progress as we have in numerous other cities and states.
We look forward to tonight’s Lyft-off in Brooklyn — and Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. See you on the road, New York!