Ride-Sharing Service Launch Causing Controversy With Local Cab Drivers
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Look out Yellow Cab, there’s a new kid in town with a pink mustache on the front grill.
“Lyft” is an on-demand, ride-sharing company that responds to an app on your smartphone.
Pittsburgh cab drivers aren’t pleased.
“Not good for us,” said cab driver Denny Piring.
KDKA’s Paul Martino: “How come?”
Piring: “Gonna take money out of our pockets.”
“Lyft,” which is based in San Francisco and says it’s in 20 cities, recruits drivers who use their own cars.
Users pay a suggested donation with a credit card. The company takes a cut and says the drivers can make up to $20 an hour.
But cabbies question who these drivers might be.
“We have a hack license, right here. Every driver has to have one,” says Piring. “You have to go to the city to get fingerprinted. All that. So they know who we are.”
The Public Utilities Commission has already said “Lyft” is not a licensed cab carrier. The PUC claims it’s a violation of state law and they’ll take both the driver and the company to court.
That’s just fine with yellow cab drivers.
“We have to carry commercial insurance and everything,” says Piring. “If we get in an accident, they’re covered. What happens if they get in an accident?”
KDKA attempted to contact the CEO of Yellow Cab, Jamie Campaolongo, but he was unavailable for comment Thursday.
However in published reports, Campolongo is quoted as saying he intends to fight this new, unregulated, ride-sharing service.
A spokesperson for “Lyft” did not return KDKA’s calls or email Thursday. But they’re planning a launch party Friday night before starting to share rides.
The PUC will watching.