New York State Attorney General Tries To Shut Down Lyft Before Tonight’s NYC Launch

Seven hours from now, people in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens were supposed to be able to dial up a vehicle from ride-sharing service Lyft and coast through traffic in a cloud of peer-to-peer vehicular bliss. “Not so fast!” the New York state government said to the service, its drivers, and their pink-mustachioed cars.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the AG filed for a court order to stop today’s launch, claiming that California-based Lyft is launching despite not conforming to New York’s laws that govern taxis and car services. While the company calls itself a ride-sharing service, the state counters that it’s really a livery service masquerading as something else, and by shuttling around paying passengers, the service would be operating in “open defiance of state and local licensing and insurance laws designed to protect the lives and well-being of New Yorkers.” Ride-sharing services are such a new concept that governments simply don’t know how to regulate them yet.

The court order would also shut down Lyft operations in existing markets in New York: earlier this year, Lyft had already launched in Buffalo and Rochester, two smaller cities on the other end of the state with large college-student populations.

New York Attorney General Seeks Restraining Order Against Lyft [Wall Street Journal]