ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Lyft, the ride-sharing service ordered by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to stop operating in Albuquerque, is not following that order. Lyft drivers are still offering rides around the metro and the company insists it’s not breaking any laws.
Lyft service should have come to a screeching halt on Wednesday when the PRC voted unanimously to order Lyft to stop giving lifts in the state until at least June 2.
“If Lyft wants to keep operating, it would need to apply for an authority and have the commission grant them an authority to keep operating,” Ryan Jerman, the director of the PRC’s Transportation Division, said.
Lyft rolled out service in the metro area last month. The company uses smartphones to connect people seeking rides to people with cars.
A company spokesperson said they do not believe drivers are violating any laws.
“We will continue conversations with local officials about Lyft’s peer-to-peer model and rigorous safety requirements,” a statement issued to KRQE News 13 read. “The people of Albuquerque have enthusiastically welcomed our arrival as an affordable and convenient transportation option and we will continue to provide safe, reliable rides that benefit the local community and further public safety.”
The PRC is now seeking a court injunction to stop Lyft in its tracks.
Lyft is supposed to respond by June 2 to allegations it is operating as an illegal taxi service.
Jerman said by continuing service, Lyft could be racking up fines.
“If you actually break it down, I believe the Commission has the authority to impose a fine of $10,000 per individual violation,” Jerman said. “In Lyft’s case, that could mean each individual trip the company has provided.”
Jerman said the PRC’s Transportation Division is now investigating another service, Uber, which started operating in Albuquerque recently.