SANTA FE (KRQE) – Does the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission have jurisdiction over ride-sharing services like Lyft? That was the question of the afternoon in Santa Fe during a hearing before the PRC, and that question, remains unanswered.
The PRC issued a cease and desist order against Lyft in May. It had just launched in the Albuquerque metro area in April.
The company faces potential fines for allegedly violating state law.
Lyft and its competitor Uber, are ride-sharing services that match drivers with people who need a ride.
Companies like Lyft and Uber face opposition from traditional cab companies that have to follow strict requirements.
Wednesday the PRC Transportation Director Rynan Jerman said he believes Lyft is a motor carrier and not just a service that matches up drivers and riders.
“I did not request a ride from Greg or whatever the driver’s name was, and also the receipt I received from those rides indicated it was Lyft I paid for those rides,” Jerman said.
Last month the PRC agreed to create a new framework for companies like Lyft and Uber. The Lyft Government Relations Manager, Joseph Okpaku told the PRC, the laws in New Mexico need to catch up with business.
“We’re not anti-regulation, but given the nature of our model and the way it differs from existing forms of transportation, it’s important that regulation or legislation be tailored to the way ride-sharing operates,” Okpaku said.
Okpaku said since starting operations here, the company has not gotten any compensation from New Mexico, all of the money from rides has completely gone to the drivers and that this will continue until at least the end of the year.
The PRC also decided to push back a decision regarding Uber Wednesday saying a decision on Lyft will have implications for both companies.