Lawsuit puts Lyft’s launch on hold in NYC

Lyft vehicles are known for the pink mustache they carry on their front grille.

Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

Lyft vehicles are known for the pink mustache they carry on their front grille.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft postponed its scheduled Friday launch in New York City, and a state judge will wait until next week to consider whether its planned operations violate state and local laws.

The state attorney general’s office and the Department of Financial Services sued only hours before Lyft planned to enter the market. Their joint lawsuit said the company actually operates as a traditional for-hire livery service using mobile technology, not a peer-to-peer transportation platform, as claimed.


The company operates ‘‘in open defiance’’ of state and local licensing and insurance laws, according to the suit, filed in Manhattan. Authorities allege Lyft began operating in Buffalo and Rochester without authorizations in April and already violates various laws.

Justice Kathryn Freed said she agreed to consider Lyft’s response Monday afternoon, provided the company not launch operations in the meantime.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Department of Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky are seeking a court order to stop the company’s New York service until the suit is resolved, plus a civil penalty and loss of profits.

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