Lyft cancels operations in Carbondale

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Just last month, Lyft launched in more than 50 additional cities – one being in the Heartland, but now Lyft is ceasing it's operations in Carbondale, Illinois.

The City of Carbondale PR Officer Amy Fox was not happy about the decision.

"Obviously that was very disappointing – before even drivers could be legally operating in the city we have Lyft pull out,"

Lyft's sent an email to the city manager and city attorney stating:

"In short, these regulations place overly onerous and cumbersome restrictions on passengers and drivers that prevent us from providing the level of service that those who rely on Lyft have come to expect. These city regulations would unnecessarily add complications for both drivers and passengers, creating barriers to the use of Lyft's services."

Fox said they've got one goal in mind with those "regulations" –residents safety.

"They obviously have to make a decision based on their company and what's going to work for their company and their business model. But when the city makes decisions we have to look at the safety of our residence and in this case our interest obviously didn't align," Fox explained.

According to Lyft's management, the company has been operating under statewide regulations, and they say these Carbondale-specific regulations make it "impossible" for the company operate.

Fox said despite the setback, they're not giving up.

"Our end result, we really want to have both Uber and lyft here in Carbondale and if it takes a few extra weeks, a few extra months to do that, that's still good," Fox said.

One student on a university campus, Michael McCarthy, said he is content with simply having any type of car service.

"As long as we still have one here…I've used it so many times and I've never had a problem with it," McCarthy said.

According to Scott Coriell, Lfyt's Communications Manager, some "unnecessary" regulations include:

  • Individual driver permits that add unnecessary costs for those wishing to drive for Lyft.
  • A duplicative city-run background check process that would unnecessarily slow the process of becoming a driver. Lyft already conducts an extensive and rigorous background check on all drivers, which includes an enhanced nationwide criminal search, and a Department of Justice 50-state sex offender search.
  • A requirement that TNC drivers must display permanent maps in their vehicles showing the fare zones and other details. This is fundamentally incompatible with the idea of personal vehicle use and TNC pricing mechanisms.

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