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Lyft, NY attorney general jousting over reasons for postponed launch

updated 01:02 pm EDT, Sat July 12, 2014

Lyft claims NY AG making 'deliberate misstatement' about court hearing

Ride-sharing service Lyft has halted its New York City launch for the time being. While the delay was originally portrayed as amicable, with the delay blessed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission as well as the courts, a battle has erupted in the press -- with both sides pointing fingers at each other for the delay, with accusations of misdeeds and lies erupting.

The New York City attorney general claims that the New York State Supreme Court has granted an injunction preventing the launch. A statement by the attorney general says that after Lyft 'rejected a reasonable request by the State to delay its launch, we filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in State Supreme Court this morning. As a result of that action, the court has granted the State a temporary restraining order preventing Lyft from launching this evening in New York City. We will return to court on Monday, to address issues pertaining to Buffalo and Rochester in addition to New York City."

Lyft claims that it is the one who halted the launch in order to comply with regulations. "The judge adjourned to Monday and we agreed to hold our launch and maintain status quo," Lyft spokesperson Erin Simpson said in a statement to The Verge. "There would be no need for a hearing on Monday if a [temporary restraining order] or injunction was granted. As further proof that court was adjourned, the AG's insurance claims were never presented and Lyft had no opportunity to respond." Lyft claims public proof of its version of events is forthcoming after the court transcript is obtained.

"We pursued this action only after repeatedly offering to work with Lyft in order to ensure that its business practices complied with the law," said the attorney general. "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. Lyft's arguments are a disingenuous attempt to disguise old-fashioned law-breaking that jeopardizes public safety."

"We agreed in New York State Supreme Court to put off the launch of Lyft's peer-to-peer model in New York City and we will not proceed with this model unless it complies with New York City Taxi and Limousine regulations," Lyft's spokesperson maintains. "We will meet with the TLC beginning Monday to work on a new version of Lyft that is fully-licensed by the TLC, and we will launch immediately upon the TLC's approval."



By Electronista Staff
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