Lyft has officially reached a deal to operate in New York City, though the business model will differ from how the company operates in other markets. According to the New York Post, Lyft will only be able to provide black cars that have been approved by the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission. That means you won’t be able to just hop in a stranger’s car with a pink mustache on the bumper and toss a few bucks to the driver.
Lyft had originally announced its intentions to launch in Brooklyn and Queens, but New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission bit back against fears that Lyft doesn’t screen its drivers as frequently as the city does, and that it only inspects Lyft vehicles once a year, while the city inspects its own taxis three times every year. The company’s service in New York City will have fixed rates, New York Post said.
TechCrunch said the deal also comes with another major caveat: Lyft will reportedly have to ditch its operations in both Rochester and Buffalo, which means drivers there are now out on any possible revenues, and former riders will probably be left with a bad taste in their mouths. The service is set to go live on Friday evening.