Lyft Can Launch In New York City, Only Using Commercial Drivers

Two weeks ago, car-sharing service Lyft was supposed to launch in New York City, allowing car-owners to receive cash for driving strangers around. The state’s attorney general stopped the launch, saying that the company is a livery service in disguise and should be regulated as one. Today, the AG’s office announced that they’ve come to an agreement with Lyft, which will be able to launch in New York City using only already-licensed commercial drivers.

Licensed commercial livery drivers are plentiful in New York City, but not so much in the upstate cities of Buffalo and Rochester where the service was already operating. The new agreement means that the company will have to shut down its operations in the smaller cities.

“We will continue to work with Lyft so that any future business it undertakes meets that standard and protects consumer safety,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement released today. “We look forward to exploring solutions that enable companies in the sharing economy to operate and thrive throughout New York State.” Solutions like subpoenaing the personal information of thousands of AirBNB hosts, apparently.

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