State attorney general sues to block Lyft ride-share app in NYC

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/PIX11) — New York's attorney general has sued to block Lyft, the on-demand ride-sharing app, from operating in New York.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, hours before San Francisco-based Lyft planned to enter the New York City market. The suit says the company actually operates as a traditional for-hire livery service using mobile technology, not a peer-to-peer transportation platform as claimed.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the company operates "in open defiance" of state and local licensing and insurance laws. He seeks a court order to stop its New York service until the suit is resolved, plus a civil penalty and loss of profits.

The suit says Lyft began operating in Buffalo and Rochester without authorizations in April and currently violates various laws.

The company is excited about launching in NYC, a spokesperson told PIX11.

Lyft will delay their launch until at least Monday. The company is working with TLC.

PIX11 spoke with the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission Friday afternoon.

"Lyft cannot operate this evening outsideof our licensing structure," said NYC TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi.

"Today, all of the city, the state and Lyft were in court to see if they will come into compliance, and work within our regulatory system, and they are willing now to work within our regulatory system so we will begin negotiations with them to make sure that they've met all the requirements," said Joshi.

Fernando Mateo, a spokesperson for the NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers tells PIX11 that it's not fair.

"It's not fair to us as an industry," said Mateo. "And we are 40,000 strong."