Lyft Is Too Successful In New York City, No Cars Available

In New York City, early adopters of the car-summoning smartphone app Lyft got a special gift: fifty free rides with a fare of up to $25 each in the first fifteen days that the service is open for business. It’s an impressive promotion…or it would be if there were any drivers available.

In most cities where car-sharing services like Lyft and UberX operate, they recruit ordinary citizens with reliable cars and clean driving records. That’s why it’s called “ride-sharing” – the idea is that you’re not summoning a car service, but the app is finding someone available to give you a lift, and you compensate them for their fuel, any tolls, and for their time. New York’s Attorney General wasn’t buying this argument, and Lyft was finally allowed to launch using only commercial drivers. The problem: there aren’t enough of ‘em.

A company spokesperson told DNAinfo that the there is “overwhelming demand” for the service in New York, and that the service plans to add more drivers after the launch weekend.

Maybe it’s all those free rides, or it’s just that drivers haven’t been interested in signing up for the first week. Whatever the case, Lyft customers in NYC whip out their phones and look longingly at all of those cars available on the other side of the Hudson, in northern New Jersey.

Ah, well: at least riders still have options if they don’t want to take a taxi.

New York City Is Loving Lyft Into Uselessness [New York]
Lack of Drivers Snags Lyft’s NYC Launch [DNAinfo]

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  1. MarkyMark says:

    Maybe because people don’t own a car and take the subway in NYC. That’s my first thought.