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29 Jul 2014 07:34 PM EST

-by Yuliya Geikhman, Staff Writer; Image: A Lyft car (Image Source: Alfredo Mendez / Flickr)

After a legal battle with the city, ride-sharing startup Lyft has officially launched in New York City.

Unfortunately, demand and pressure to adhere to NYC taxi service rules is taking its toll on the service.

The company is celebrating its entry into NYC by giving away free rides to New Yorkers. A group of NY-based users each received 50 free passes for rides under $25.

However, NYC users are having trouble finding any cars with the service. Originally the company had 500 New York drivers lined up. As part of Lyft’s agreement with the city, Lyft can only employ drivers who are registered with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). This appears to have drastically reduces the availability of drivers within the boroughs.

Lyft states that the launch is only a beta, with the full rollout happening over the next few weeks, so users might expect more cars in the near future. The company also has its sights on changing the city’s policies, striving to introduce true peer-to-peer transportation in the near future. A petition started by Lyft has been signed by over 11,000 supporters asking the city to allow ridesharing into its streets.

According to Lyft, the lack of drivers is tied to the busy launch. In replies to users on Twitter, Lyft is assuring everyone that there are cars, just not available ones. The 50 credit offer will be extended for two more weeks to appease those who were unable to use them because of availability issues.

Another complaint against Lyft’s launch in NYC is the price of tips. Tips as high as 75 percent and 150 percent are getting added to ride totals during “Prime Time,” amounts which go entirely to the driver, states the app.

It’s a rocky start for the ridesharing company, which already occupies more than 65 cities.

29 July, 2014
NYC Evening Traffic Report for Tuesday, July 29

-by Trista McKenzie, Contributing Writer; Image: Queens buses are facing quite a few delays and detours during this evening commute. (Image Source: MTA) New York City’s afternoon commute is underway, complete with the usual delays and detours—especially involving buses in Queens. Currently,... Read more

29 July, 2014
MTA to Increase Fares and Tolls 4 Percent in 2015

-by Vania Andre, Staff Writer; Image: A new R-188 subway car in use along the 7 line. (Image Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin) The MTA will not increase fares and tolls more than 4 percent, according to updated budgets released Monday. The agency initially planned... Read more

29 July, 2014
LIRR Ridership at Highest in Six Years

-by Vania Andre, Staff Writer; Image: The LIRR began promoting the summer season with a kick-off event at Penn Station on June 18. (Image Source: MTA on Flickr) More riders took the Long Island Rail Road in June than during any other month in six years, the LIRR’s president said Monday,... Read more

28 July, 2014
Storied New York City Deli Katz's Wins Name Battle with Florida Cafe

The New York City delicatessen Katz's has won a legal battle to force a Florida restaurant to change its name, according to court documents made public on Monday. Katz's Delicatessen, founded in 1888, sued Katz's Deli of Deerfield Beach in June, claiming that the Florida restaurant had blatantly... Read more

28 July, 2014
NYC Evening Traffic Report for Monday, July 28

-by Trista McKenzie, Contributing Writer; Image: The G train has begun repairs for five weeks, joining the R train in “Sandy Reroute” status. (Image Source: MTA) This weekend went way too quickly, and now New York City is yet again embarking on the Monday evening commute. Currently,... Read more

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