While the Uber ride-hailing service has worked out its difficulties with Kansas City, rival company Lyft said Tuesday it will not resume operations in Kansas City.
Lyft’s announcement follows last week’s City Council vote on new vehicle-for-hire regulations that were designed to work for both traditional taxis and new transportation companies such as Uber, Lyft and zTrip.
The new ordinance followed months of contentious negotiations and represented a tweak from an earlier version that Uber had said was unworkable. The city lowered its driver fees and reduced paperwork requirements. Uber said it is now able to do business in Kansas City. But Lyft, which is in more than 60 cities nationally, had a different view Tuesday.
“While we appreciate the hard work of the City Council, the revised regulations still place unnecessarily burdensome requirements on individual drivers,” Lyft’s statement said, without elaborating on the reasons. “As these rules make it nearly impossible for peer-to-peer transportation to thrive, we will not be relaunching our operations in Kansas City.”
Both Uber and Lyft came to Kansas City last summer. Lyft wound up in a lawsuit with Kansas City over the city’s regulations and halted operations in October, while Uber continued to operate as the regulations were in limbo.
Kansas City leaders and regulators believe strongly that the new regulations can work for any transportation network company, city spokesman Chris Hernandez said Tuesday. He said Lyft representatives were at the table for most of the negotiations and had indicated they were generally positive about the direction of the conversations.
“We have Uber and zTrip, so why not Lyft?” Hernandez asked.