Lyft may be Planning Return to Columbus Market

Walker Evans Walker Evans Lyft may be Planning Return to Columbus Market
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For a short time, Columbus was home to two ride sharing services. Uber launched in late 2013 while competitor Lyft got started in early 2014. Lyft’s run was short lived, as the service went on an indefinite hiatus in January 2015, citing “mounting legal pressure from local regulators” that made it difficult for their peer-to-peer platform to operate.

That hiatus may soon be over, as signs are pointing toward a return. Columbus Underground reader Patrick Riley forwarded a message to CU last night that came as a response to his application to become a driver, which states that “Lyft is gearing up to head back to Columbus.”

Lyft spokesperson Mary Caroline Pruitt did not officially confirm the return of service, but hinted that it was likely.

“While we don’t have any immediate news to share at this time, with Ohio’s recent legislation passage, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to return to Columbus soon,” she stated.

When Lyft left town last year, Columbus Public Safety Assistant Director Amanda Ford said that state legislation had not changed that would cause specific problems for them to operate in the City of Columbus. Lyft currently operates in five other Ohio cities: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo.

Pruitt was likely reffering to Ohio House Bill 237, which provides statewide updates to insurance provisions and other regulations for ride sharing transportation services. The legislation is scheduled to go into effect on March 23rd, and will override local level regulations here in Columbus.

As of this morning, Ford said that she hadn’t heard anything about Lyft planning to return to the Columbus market.

For more information, visit www.lyft.com.

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