Lyft Had a Rocky Start in NYC Over the Weekend

Josh WolfordTechnology

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Fresh off its kinda victory on Friday in New York City, Lyft launched in all five boroughs to much fanfare. Unfortunately, high demands coupled with an underwhelming workforce and newly-imposed regulations made getting a Lyft driver a real headache in the Big Apple.

Folks took to Twitter to vent.

There was also the issue of Lyft's "Prime Time pricing":

Lyft has been fielding tweets like this since their Friday launch.

According to an admittedly unscientific experiment by DNAinfo New York, there were "no more than two cars on the road at a time in the five boroughs — and most times, no car could be found at all."

NY Mag confirmed this shortage, saying that "no drivers were available" in all of Manhattan on multiple app checks.

"We are working hard to grow our community of drivers as quickly as possible to meet this overwhelming demand," said Lyft in a statement. "Tens of thousands of New York residents across all five boroughs opened the Lyft app to request a ride over the weekend, and we look forward to adding more drivers and giving all New Yorkers access to safe, friendly and reliable rides."

It could, in fact, be some pretty hard work ahead for Lyft. In order to be able to launch last Friday, Lyft had to make a major concession to the city's Taxi and Limo Commission. Lyft had to give up a major aspect of what makes Lyft (and Uber and others like it) true peer-to-peer ride-sharing services – Lyft drivers in New York City will have to be licensed by the TLC.

That clearly makes it harder to quickly populate the drivers pool.

And a thin workforce is obviously not what you want in a city the size of New York.

If you can get a ride in NYC, it's going to be free for a while. All new users have received 50(!) free rides for the first two weeks. And you could have a fun experience...

Image via @ashishsingal1, Twitter

Josh Wolford

Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer.

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