Lyft, the pink-mustached cars, is an app-based car-sharing service. It launches Friday night in New York City as a sort of outer-borough Uber except the drivers are ordinary folks, not professionals. At the end of the ride, a donation is asked for but not required.
Lyft car sharing is operating in 60 cities already, but New York City may be different.
Meera Joshi, the chair of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, says Lyft's business model is illegal. The TLC has met with Lyft twice. Based on those meetings, Joshi said she concluded Lyft is a bad idea because she said it is unsafe for passengers and drivers. She said you can call it car-sharing but it is an illegal cab service.
Lyft said New York City's laws are outdated and it plans to launch regardless of city reaction. It argues Brooklyn and Queens need interborough service because 95 percent of yellow cab service is in Manhattan or the airports.
But Joshi said Lyft has apparently not heard about the green cabs that do lots of outer borough and interborough service.
Lyft said its app-based car-sharing will begin Friday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in Brooklyn and Queens.
The TLC said if Lyft launches, the commission will arrest drivers.