back to article Lyft hits the brakes: Ban threat stalls taxi app's New York City launch

Ride-booking app maker Lyft has scrapped plans to launch in New York City following legal threats from the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). A Lyft spokesperson confirmed that the planned Friday launch would be moved to Monday as the biz continues to work with authorities on a plan that would allow Lyft drivers to …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    ""The public is reminded that they should not get into a vehicle without a TLC license, because it has not undergone the rigorous safety and emissions inspections conducted by the agency to ensure its safety and fitness for transporting passengers..."

    Just out of interest, as I've heard this a lot with these services, but what checks do taxis have over and above the standard vehicle fitness checks that all cars need? And if standard vehicle checks are not enough to "ensure its safety and fitness for transporting passengers" then isn't that cause for concern?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      The NY taxi license require a 6hour course, a 20question exam and a certificate showing you don't owe child support to the city.

      However each taxi medalion required to own and operate a cab now costs >$1.3M, this has led to speculation that perhaps organised crime might have some connections to the taxi business.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think they've found that most medallions are owned by investors who in turn lease them to operators for a cut of the take.

        The medallion are so valuable because they're prerequisite to operating a taxi in NYC, a city where they're a prominent mode of transportation. Hell, they even used the fame of New York taxis to make a game show (Cash Cab).

        BTW, the city limits the number of medallions for mainly practical reasons: the streets of New York, especially Manhattan where the cabs are mainly used, are crowded enough as is; no need to pack them further with an excess of cabs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Excess cabs, really?

          "BTW, the city limits the number of medallions for mainly practical reasons: the streets of New York, especially Manhattan where the cabs are mainly used, are crowded enough as is; no need to pack them further with an excess of cabs."

          That is not quite true.

          These medallions started in the thirties, and altho the cities have grown a lot, the cab companies fight to keep the number of medallions from increasing proportionally so their profits per car stay at the max. It has nothing to do with crowding, in fact crowding would be lessened by having more taxis, keeping more people from having to drive their own car.

          http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/47636506327/the-tyranny-of-the-taxi-medallions

  2. Stratman

    ".....its driver has not been subject to the TLC’s required drug and background checks,"

    I'm more concerned my driver may not be a psychotic crackhead, and I'll miss out on an essential part of the New York experience..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: ".....its driver has not been subject to the TLC’s required drug and background checks,"

      "I'm more concerned my driver may not be a psychotic crackhead, and I'll miss out on an essential part of the New York experience.."

      That can happen with Lyft too!

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    Robot taxi cabs

    I wonder what grounds the TLC will use to ban robot taxi cabs when they become feasible in a few years time.

  4. southen bastard

    Bring on the "johnny cab" robot, electric, 24hours a day, can only be better in so many ways

  5. treboR

    The public is reminded not to make their own choices about the goods and services they consume, because We know better and/or may have a vested interest in preventing competition.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since when has any cab >2 months old been safer to drive in than a car owned and operated by a member of the public? I don't take cabs because, being a mechanic, I can tell that they do not replace safety items prior to failure- items such as brakes, suspension joints & knuckles, bushes and shock absorbers... etc. (And the list really does go on...). Don't get me wrong, I am not verly concerned about the car crashing- it is driven by a person (at present*) and they can usually avoid the worst kind of impacts possible at city speeds.

    It is more that I can't stand the rattling, banging, wobbling and klunking that the driver* has to be professionally oblivious to.

    * Not for much longer thanks to Google

    ** and presumably, City councils and state government staff and our elected members, legislators.

    A community run taxi service won't run shoddy cabs- certainly won't if they maintain their rating/feedback system. If the taxi companies had a rating system, they'd have to keep their cabs safe (to a reasonable extent) too. If our legislators ban car-sharing to protect their mates' profits, they'll flush all these benefits, as well as improved service down the drain along with the savings that are beign made.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      rigorous safety and emissions inspections"

      The last time I used a yellow cab in NYC, when retrieving my suitcase from the trunk I was surprised to see the road through a large hole rusted in the floor. NYC yellow cabs are like something from a third world country, just like NYC roads, cops, airports, etc. etc. etc.

  7. Carl W

    I used both Gett and Uber in NYC recently, so I don't see why Lyft shouldn't be allowed to compete. Gett were doing a promo where anywhere in Manhattan south of 110th St was $10. Almost as cheap as the subway.

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