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Lyft's failure-to-launch party

The ridesharing startup throws down in Brooklyn even though regulators took it to court

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Lyft, the app that connects anyone with a car to people willing to pay for a ride, was supposed to go live in New York City Friday night, hours before a massive Brooklyn launch party. The launch was highly publicized, and Lyft promised two weeks of free rides to introduce New Yorkers to the service.

Unfortunately for the San Francisco-based company, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission and the state attorney general immediately dragged Lyft into court and put the kibosh on the launch. Lyft is not permitted to operate in its planned markets of Brooklyn, Queens, Rochester, and Buffalo until it can hammer out a deal with the authorities that regulate the taxi industry.

It could be a while before New Yorkers can actually use Lyft. It took competitor Uber a year to negotiate a deal with the city regulators for its taxi-hailing app.

But the venue was already booked and hundreds of guests had already RSVP'ed. Lyft put up a blog post explaining the situation and threw a launch party anyway.

Lyft's Brooklyn party photo essay


A small group of taxi and livery drivers stood next to the line for the party, shouting slogans like, “Lyft out of New York!” They say they are concerned about public safety and competition from uncertified drivers.