Lyft To Pay $300,000 For Violating New York State Regulatory Laws

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ride-hailing service Lyft will pay $300,000 to settle allegations that it violated New York state laws.

The New York state Attorney General’s office sued Lyft last summer for operating in the state without requiring its drivers to have commercial licenses or proper insurance. As part of the settlement, Lyft has agreed to follow vehicle-for-hire laws in the state, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said Thursday.

Lyft said in a statement Thursday that the settlement was part of its efforts to bring “peer-to-peer ride sharing to New York state at large.”

In other states, Lyft drivers are ordinary people that agree to a background check and use their personal cars to pick up Lyft customers. However, Lyft can’t operate that way in New York since the state requires drivers to have a commercial license and insurance.

Before Lyft launched in Brooklyn and Queens last summer, the Taxi & Limousine Commission posted a notice that service did not comply 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 pink-mustachioed 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.

The launch went ahead several days later when Lyft agreed to operate “in full compliance” with existing laws and regulations and that it will start the new service with commercial drivers only.

Lyft drivers in New York currently all have commercial licenses, the company said.

Founded three years ago, Lyft also operates in several other cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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