Lyft car sharing is now legal in NYC, since Lyft decided to comply with NYC law and use only commercially licensed and trained drivers behind the wheel of vehicles inspected and approved for safety, insurance and cleanliness.
That makes Lyft just another car service, like Uber, Dial 7, and all the other car service companies which meet NYC regulations for safety, including insurance and driver background checks for a criminal past, and which you can request and pay for on your mobile device. The difference is they don’t have fuzzy pink mustaches on their front hood.
The agreement with the New York State Attorney General took three weeks of negotiations. Simply, Lyft was trying to drive around the law by offering rides in somebody’s personal car, driven by somebody who wants to make a couple of extra bucks, maybe during those three hours when alternate side of the street parking means you have to sit in your car anyway.
Lyft is rolling out in bits and pieces, as it adds properly licensed drivers and vehicles.
As part of the New York State agreement, Lyft also must stop operating in Rochester and Buffalo until it meets with local regulations.
When it tried to roll out illegally in NYC, Lyft crashed into a “cease-and-desist” letter by the state Dept. of Financial Services, which also accused the San Francisco-based firm of “acting in bad faith” and ordered it to stop all promotional activities New York State, including in Buffalo and Rochester, where it launched rides – also apparently illegally.
NY State also accused Lyft of “acting in bad faith” for avoiding NYC car-for-hire regulations by avoiding the words “fare” or “charge” or “pay”. Lyft invites a “donation” to the driver, which you and the driver negotiate. The driver kicks back 20% to Lyft.