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Queens Chronicle

Lyft rideshare on hold as company, TLC talk

Says will comply fully with city regs

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:30 am

Lyft, the rideshare company that connects drivers and riders through mobile apps, has agreed not to start its service in Brooklyn until it meets all requirements of the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The TLC said Lyft officials began sitting down with them on Monday “to begin discussions on how they may provide for-hire service that is fully compliant with TLC rules.”

Lyft already operates in 30 states and the District of Columbia. That includes New York, where it provides services in Buffalo and Rochester.

Lyft was planning to launch in the city this past week before state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky sought a temporary restraining order.

The state had concerns that Lyft did not or would not meet state and city standards in areas such as licensing of commercial drivers, insurance and vehicle inspection.

The company did not respond to an inquiry from the Chronicle for this story, but its officials have said in numerous published reports that they are not a traditional ride-for-hire service, but more of a peer-to-peer operation that connects riders with drivers in return for an agreed-upon fee.

Lyft’s website states that its insurance covers drivers for up to $1 million for bodily injury and damages should a driver’s own insurance not cover the accident.

Jeanne Salvatore, chief communications officer for the Manhattan-based Insurance Information Institute, said drivers thinking of joining Lyft should consult with their insurance carrier first to see what would be covered in the event of an accident.

“I think under most policies, they would not be covered,” she said. Salvatore did add that as services like Lyft become more popular, insurance companies likely would begin creating products to meet the new demand.

Lyft’s website also said it conducts driver background checks and on-site vehicle inspections.

Welcome to the discussion.