Lyft petition in Minneapolis gains momentum

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Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 7.22.45 PMPeer-to-peer ride sharing mobile app Lyft may be facing legal limbo in Minneapolis right now, but a growing number of consumers are indicating they want a say in the matter.

The San Francisco based company is known for matching people seeking rides with pre-screened and insured local drivers who use their own cars.  Popularized in many communities across the country (resistance notwithstanding), Lyft has wanted in on Minneapolis since clearing St. Paul last August.

In response to the flat out ban, University of Minnesota student Natalie Cecchini has formed a petition directed at Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges.  As of today, that list has grown to over 800 supporters signed on with a 1,000 target.

It’s not clear what significance this petition will ultimately carry, but perhaps a compromise is in store and Lyft will take off in Minneapolis — eventually.

Comments

  • Bill Bushey

    A similar situation is playing out in several other cities around the country http://m.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/02/other-cities-may-follow-seattles.html?r=full

    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      Yeah…some are straight banning, others are permitting with exception.

      Remind me again what the reasoning is? I guess it’s not that clear to me why an individual cannot decide for themself what mode of transportation they prefer.

      • Yael Grauer

        The reasoning is that the City of Minneapolis thinks that Lyft is a taxi service (which requires vehicles to be registered, licensed and inspected as such), and Lyft thinks that it’s a ride-sharing service which doesn’t fit that designation.

        • http://www.spark.io Teke O’Reilly

          That’s not reasoning, that’s a status quo designation. Jeff wants to know the reasoning behind prohibiting freedom to choose, and I do too. We all know what the ‘law’ is – what isn’t clear is the reasoning, or lack thereof.

          • Yael Grauer

            Ah, gotcha. I don’t think the Licenses and Consumer Services Division regulating cabs (or designating services as cabs) is an implicit desire to prohibit the freedom to choose as much as it is the government trying to regulate things (as they are wont to do). The Minneapolis Taxicab Ordinance is 41 pages long; it’s more than just about giving the government a cut. As much as I love Lyft, I don’t think calling their fees “donations” makes the service less cab-like and I’m surprised they didn’t anticipate some city governments designating them as such.

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