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Lyft says it's starting New York City car service
After ride-sharing service challenged in court, Lyft says it's launching in New York City
Associated Press
2014-07-26 03:01 AM

ALBANY, New York (AP) -- The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft planned to start limited service in New York City on Friday after reaching agreement with officials to resolve regulatory issues.

New York's attorney general and Department of Financial Services said Lyft agreed to operate "in full compliance" with existing laws and regulations, and that it will start the service with commercial drivers only.

Company spokeswoman Katie Dally said Lyft would expand the service in the coming weeks.

The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission had posted a notice two weeks ago, in advance of the company's initial planned startup in Brooklyn and Queens, that its so-called ride share service had not complied with the commission's safety requirements and other licensing criteria to verify qualifications of its drivers and vehicles.

San Francisco-based Lyft's plan to bring its car service to the New York City market was then halted after the state officials sued. They claimed the company operates as a traditional for-hire livery service using mobile technology that is subject to regulations, not a peer-to-peer transportation platform as claimed.

Both sides have been in court-directed negotiations since.

"We are firmly committed to the notion that regulators can work constructively with companies so that new ideas can come to the market -- and that smart regulation should create an environment where innovators can compete," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Department of Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky said in a joint statement.

The taxi commission did not immediately comment on the agreement.

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