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NYS Obtains Temporary Order To Stop Lyft Ridesharing From Launching In NYC

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman  and Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky say they have received a temporary restraining order to stop the ride-sharing company Lyft from launching in New York City.

Last April, the San Francisco based company began operating in Rochester  and Buffalo.  In court papers released on Friday, state officials accuse Lyft of thumbing its nose at laws set up to protect state residents. The officials contend that Lyft is basically running a for-hire livery or taxi service.

But the attorney general says the Lyft uses drivers who are not commercially licensed or insured. Schneiderman also says that Lyft has violated the City of Rochester Municipal Code by failing to have vehicles driven by its Lyft drivers licensed by the city as required by law.

The two state officials say they will return to court on Monday to address issues pertaining to Buffalo and Rochester in addition to New York City.

Lyft issued this statement on Friday

"We are in a legal process with local regulators today and will proceed accordingly. We always seek to work collaboratively with leaders in the interests of public safety and the community, as we've done successfully in cities and states across the country, and hope to find a path forward for ridesharing in New York."

Lyft has maintained that it is not a taxi service and does not need to abide by the same regulations that taxis must follow.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.