NY Court shifts Lyft into neutral

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – With the future of a ride sharing service hanging in the balance, a state judge in New York City has recessed the state’s lawsuit against Lyft until Friday morning.

Lyft, the company with the trademark pink moustache, delayed its New York City launch last Friday, when Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took the company to court just hours before the California-based company was to launch its ride-sharing service in Brooklyn and Queens. Lyft already has 500 drivers signed up.

Schneiderman and state regulators accused Lyft officials of trying to operate their service without the needed licenses and insurance. The case is being heard in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Officials from the Attorney General’s Office, the state Department of Financial Services, and Lyft returned to Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Freed’s courtroom to work out the conditions for operating the “peer-to-peer” ride service legally. Lyft is also in talks with New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to take the fuzzy moustache to the streets of the Big Apple.

In the wake of last Friday’s hearing on Friday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown authorized Buffalo Police and code enforcement officers to ticket Lyft vehicles, immediately, because they lack the permits and insurance to operate legally in the city.

At the conclusion of Monday afternoon’s proceeding, Lyft spokesperson Katie Dally issued the following statement:

“We recognize and respect that Judge Freed wishes for all parties to work together on a path forward in a timely fashion. Based on today’s progress, we expect to be operating shortly in New York City and will continue working with the TLC, Attorney General and Department of Financial Services to come to a resolution that supports safe and innovative transportation options for New Yorkers. Today’s court proceedings reinforced the strength of Lyft’s position around its insurance coverage and operations.”

“Lyft has completed more than 10 million rides across more than 65 cities, including Buffalo and Rochester. We have agreed to begin operation in New York City with TLC licensed drivers as a first step forward, while vigorously pushing for a peer-to-peer model through the proper channels. We expect and hope that all parties will collaborate together with the goal of creating a framework for this model which Lyft operates in more than 65 cities to come to New York City.”

“This model provides flexibility and economic opportunity to hardworking New Yorkers that include teachers, students, single parents and city workers using Lyft to make ends meet.”

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