Uber and Lyft, those app-powered ridesharing services that have drawn opposition from taxi and limo alliances and local goverments, are making slow but steady headway.
Taxi-hailing service Lyft worked out a deal Friday to operate in New York City. But it had to agree to use commercially licensed drivers, just as its big rival Uber had to do.
New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates the city’s cabs, and state officials, who won a temporary restraining order, stopped Lyft’s planned July 8 launch.
Regulators argued that Lyft violated city and state laws by employing drivers who are not properly licensed and insured, and whose vehicles aren’t registered with the TLC.
Uber worked out a deal with New York about two years ago, also agreeing to only operate the UberX service with commercially licensed and registered drivers.
Cease-and-desist orders against Uber, Lyft and other so-called transportation network companies (TNCs) are in effect in more than a dozen other cities and states.
But the TNCs have gained regulatory approval in Seattle, Minneapolis and a handful of other jurisdictions around the country.
At the national level, Uber and Lyft are feeling the heat from the “Who’s Driving You?” campaign, organizing by the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association. The national group is tracking insurance alerts regarding rideshare companies and soliciting passenger complaints to spread the word about the risks associated with unregulated ridesharing services.
“We would like to see ridesharing companies following a single set of rules designed to protect the public in the taxicab space,” said Dave Sutton, spokesperson for TLPA’s ‘Who’s Driving You?’ campaign.