Miami-Dade County Is Now Impounding Lyft Vehicles
Miami-Dade already has enough of a problem with "businesses" operating outside of or in the gray area of the law that when a venture capitalist-backed tech firm comes into town and tries to do it, they're just asking for trouble.
Courtesy of Lyft
The county had earlier started fining app-based ride share Lyft's drivers more than $2,000 per ticket, but they're not playing around with ticketing anymore. The County has now impounded at least three vehicles operating through Lyft.
Lyft says it's a "peer-to-peer" ride sharing program that lets users hitch rides with authorized drivers for a "suggested donation." It started operating in the county over the Memorial Day weekend. Uber's similar service, UberX, officially rolled into town earlier this week.
But the county views the services as chauffeured car companies that are operating without proper licensing or within existing laws and regulations. So, according to the Miami Herald they impounded three Lyft vehicles during a sting operation on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez has signaled that he'd like to see ride-sharing programs come to Miami, but he can't just ignore current law. He sent a letter to a Lyft lobbyist earlier this week pointing out that the county had the power to impound vehicles running afoul of hired-car laws.
Of course, if you're companies like Uber and Lyft with lots of venture capitalist money behind you, you can write off fines and impound costs as just another business expense.
Clearly unwilling to wait for things to work their ways through the legal channels at a regular pace, they've chosen instead to start operating illegally with the hopes of putting pressure on the county to speed things along.