An attempt by ride-sharing app Lyft to launch in New York City hit a speed bump when the state's Supreme Court granted an injunction preventing the company's planned launch Friday evening, state officials said.
Lyft, based in San Francisco, connects private drivers with customers through a smartphone app at a price usually lower than standard taxi fare. The company announced plans to expand operations this week to the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.
But those plans were dashed Friday when New York state officials, including Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman, filed for a temporary restraining order against Lyft because of an alleged failure to meet standard taxi regulations. In a statement, Schneiderman said Lyft needed to collaborate with city regulators.
“Instead of collaborating with the State to help square innovation with statute and protect the public, as other technology companies have done as recently as this week, Lyft decided to move ahead and simply ignore state and local laws,” Schneiderman said in the statement.
Lyft contended on a blog post Friday that the New York Supreme Court did not issue an injunction, and said the attorney general's contention that it did so is a "delibrate misstatement." Lyft said it would begin working with regulators to come up with an acceptable business model.
In a release issued Wednesday, New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission asked members of the public to use only regulated transportation services, and threatened to punish drivers who sign up with Lyft with a $2,000 fine and possible car impoundment.
One of Lyft’s competitors in the ride-sharing market, Uber, currently operates legally in New York City by working with licensed taxi base stations.
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