Lyft has lifted its transportation services from Carbondale because of what the company called “onerous and cumbersome” restrictions that keep it from providing quality service to customers.
City council members amended municipal restrictions in February to accommodate growing transportation network services like Uber and Lyft. The new regulations took effect April 1.
Prashanthi Raman, senior public policy manager at Lyft, sent an email to Carbondale’s city manager and attorney on March 31, saying the ride-share service would cease operation in the city the following day.
“These city regulations would unnecessarily add complications for both drivers and passengers, creating barriers to the use of Lyft’s services,” Raman wrote in the email.
In a statement Friday, city spokeswoman Amy Fox said the ordinance is evolving to adjust to the ever-changing transportation industry. She added that Lyft wants to restore Carbondale service in the future.
“The city remains dedicated to working with [transportation network services] to continue to provide the best transportation for our residents,” Fox said.
The city’s regulations for transportation services require applicants pay a $45 fee for a background check, provide proof of insurance and show a valid driver’s license. Safety inspections for Lyft and Uber vehicles are also necessary under the current ordinance before drivers receive city approval.
Drivers reportedly began working in the city before the April 1 start date, but the city said they were doing so illegally.
Fox said the city has issued five licenses since April 1. Uber continues to operate in the city.
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