Ride-sharing company Lyft is launching in Philadelphia on Friday.
With its trademark pink mustache logo, the San Francisco-based start-up lets drivers use their own cars as private taxis. Users electronically hail rides through an app. But just like its rival Uber, Lyft can expect a less than warm welcome from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
The PPA plans to fine drivers and impound their cars, since the service is in violation of city law.
“Lyft is providing a hack taxi cab service,” says Vince Fenerty, Executive Director of the PPA. “They are not a medallion cab, and in Philadelphia County you have to be a medallion cab in order to provide taxi service.”Fenerty says fines of $1,000 will be imposed on drivers, while the company could face nearly double that charge for each violation.
Lyft, like Uber, says it will cover any legal expenses.
“Current rules for taxis and limos were created long before anything like Lyft was ever imagined,” says Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Wilson in a statement.
Both ride-sharing companies have faced regulatory hurdles as they expand their services nationally. In December, 45 taxi companies in Philadelphia filed a civil suit against Uber in federal court.