Lyft needing to comply with city ordinance before operation

VICTORIA- The popular ride sharing service Lyft says they’re now giving passengers a lift around town. However, if you check their mobile app, you’ll find no rides available.

In March, Lyft announced their ride sharing service would be launching in eight Texas cities: Abilene, College Station, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, San Angelo, Tyler and Victoria. Prior to the announcement, city spokesman OC Garza says city officials weren’t aware Lyft was interested operating in town.

“We have been contacted by all kinds of ride for hire services and sometime they’re not real open about who they are,” said Garza.

Since Lyft operates as a ride-for-hire service, interested drivers would need to obtain a commercial permit from the city’s secretary office. Garza said the city secretary reported one person picking up an application for a permit but has not submitted it.

“Each car that would be a Lyft car would just need a quick inspection at our fleet services area, that’s $10. Then each driver gets a $25 background check to verify they have the proper insurance coverage and everything you would want to have in a safe ride-for-hire service.”

Garza says Lyft would need to pay a $25 fee to operate as a business and comply with city code before they’re permitted to operate on the road and appear on the app. A discussion, he says, has not happen yet between city officials and Lyft.

“We would love to Lyft in town too, seems like a great alternative for cabs and limos,” said Garza. “We are trying to just have a line of communication with them to see if there is anything in our ordinance that’s really preventing them from being in Victoria.”

Garza says Lyft has contacted the city mayor but conflicting schedules have been an issue.

VC student Omar Pina says he’s a fan of a similar ride-sharing service called Uber and hopes Lyft will become the new trend in Victoria soon.

“I would pay that extra few bucks for them to come here and get me already and take me to my destination.”