This past Friday, one of Uber’s biggest competitors, Lyft, finally got permission from New York City to launch after two weeks of negotiations and court hearings.
New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was unhappy with the ridesharing startup not complying with its licenses and policies, but the two finally sides came to an agreement when Lyft promised to only use licensed vehicles from the TLC.
Lyft can finally operate in NYC, but it’s struggling to find enough drivers for the demand it’s seeing.
According to DNAInfo, no more than two Lyft cars were on the road at a time in the five boroughs between Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday night. So customers were struggling to actually use the service.
To make things worse, the lack of drivers led to “Prime Time” pricing, which added an additional 25-to-75 per cent to each ride.
On top of that, Lyft was promoting a “Pioneer Program,” which gave users up to 50 free rides for 15 days — but you didn’t really get your bang for your buck if you couldn’t actually snag a ride.
To be fair, most beginnings are rough, and it may take time for Lyft to fully figure out the ropes of New York City.
“Lyft launched in New York City on Friday evening to overwhelming demand from thousands of residents across all five boroughs,” a Lyft spokeswoman told DNAInfo.
“We are currently in a limited beta period and working hard to grow our community of drivers as quickly as possible.”
But you have to wonder why Lyft didn’t think of preemptively finding drivers pre-launch.
Here are some of the angry tweets from rideless Lyft users: