Update on the Lyft/NYC dispute
On its face, this resembles something out of an Ayn Rand novel, minus the purple prose, 100-page lectures and violent sex. As best as I can tell, the practical argument against letting Lyft operate and provide rides for free seems to come down to because…reasons.
I can’t really find any of those reasons and a few things that sound scary—the attorney general claims that Lyft started operating in other cities across New York State without official permission—should actually be comforting to those worried about the company’s safety record. Since it’s operated incident-free in these places, that’s a good sign that nothing serious is going to go wrong in New York City either.
For now, however, there’s an easy enough compromise that everyone should be able to live with: let anyone else who wants to, offer rides for free. If there are real regulatory questions to be answered, the two weeks that Lyft has already committed to providing free service should be way more than enough to get them answered and fulfill whatever bureaucratic requirements the city wishes to impose.