Car Share App Faces Bumpy Road Coming to Mpls.
Have you seen Lyft on your Facebook feed? They're using social media to invite folks who want to make a few extra bucks to launch Lyft in our area.
Who doesn't want to make a few bucks, right?
Well, before you sign up, we found out there might be some rough roads ahead for Lyft to come to Minneapolis.
Here's how Lyft works: drivers apply and undergo driving record and criminal background checks and their cars are inspected. That part is done by Lyft. You must be at least 23 years old and have your own car (2000 or newer) in good working condition.
Passengers download the app, provide their credit card and when they want a ride a Lyft driver gives them a lift.
However, the passenger doesn't pay the driver, instead the passenger makes a suggested donation, which is also done through their SmartPhone.
John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft, which is based out of San Francisco, says Lyft is growing, "in California we're in San Fran, San Diego, LA. We're in Seattle, Chicago, Boston and recently Washington, D.C."
But that didn’t happened without some city statute speed-bumps along the way because Lyft cars and drivers don't get taxi licenses.
"I don't know what this company is thinking, it’s standard accepted practice all across the county for a cab service to get a license," said Minneapolis Council Member Gary Shiff. He says taxi licenses help ensure safety.
“Getting a cheap ride sounds good but what happens when the driver doesn't take you where you want to go," said Schiff.
Lyft co-found Zimmer says, Lyft cars and drivers meet or exceed nearly all city required safety standards, "I'd say it'd be 20-30% less expensive."
Blue and White's Operations Manager Albert Lenoir says, apps that arrange rides are nothing new, "most companies have their own apps where people can use their cell phones to text in and order. We have where bars can call directly- go straight to our computer system."
He's not worried about Lyft but says smaller cab companies could suffer.
Zimmer says he wants to work with Minneapolis and all of its new cities, “we're now having cities and mayors call us to ask to bring this service to their city because they see it as an innovative and affordable way to help their citizens get around.”
Lyft has not announced an official launch date for the metro.