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5 Things Cofounder John Zimmer Wants St. Louis to Know About Lyft


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Lyft
John Zimmer, co-founder at Lyft.
No. 4. Zimmer's team at Lyft will meet with Mayor Francis Slay early this week.

After weeks of saying Lyft would be willing to meet with city officials, it looks like the meeting is finally happening now that the taxi commission is taking legal action.
"I want our team to work together with the city," Zimmer says. "We work hard to be respectful and collaborative."

But it's hard to be respectful and collaborative, Zimmer says, when officials make false statements against the company, like perpetuating the untrue statement that a Lyft driver was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant. That's when Zimmer says he and Lyft will fight for the rights of their drivers and passengers.

"It's complicated, it's a constant balance," Zimmer says.

Slay is already lobbying the taxi commission on behalf of Uber, Lyft's most famous app-based ride business rival, because Uber agrees to be regulated by the taxi commission.

"[Uber] has led me to believe that if those changes were made, it would abide by the other 80 pages of regulations and would seek certification from the commission," Slay posts on Facebook. "Time will tell if Lyft ultimately opts to follow its larger competitor's useful example."

Which brings us to the final thing we learned from Zimmer this week...

No. 5. Zimmer isn't threatened by Uber's expansion into St. Louis.

This month Lyft launched in 24 new cities, including Kansas City, which is having some of the same problems with citations as St. Louis did. That means Lyft passengers can now catch rides in 60 cities nationwide.

Uber's American presence is smaller, just 52 cities, according to its website.

When asked if he was threatened by Uber's move into St. Louis, Zimmer pointed to the number of markets in which Lyft now operates and says he wasn't worried.

"We've seen that before, and our business has continued to grow," he says.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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12 comments
Douglas Dial
Douglas Dial

If you got a text, you probably downloaded the app.

Anna Parker
Anna Parker

Yes almost became a driver. Backed out last minute.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

I cannot fucking stand people like this guy. "What we are doing is different, the rules don't apply to us, we are hipster douchbags, radical dude!" Fuck him and the rest of the little twerps who think that riding around with some underpaid douche with a pink mustache on his car is so fucking groundbreaking while they send their money out of town to cockhead venture capitalists in California. Fucking idiots.

justaguy.chi
justaguy.chi

Miss Toler, please ask Mr Zimmer this simple question "Where would an injured Lyft rider FIRST try to collect a claim...with the driver's personal car insurance or against Lyft's $1M Excess Liability Policy?" And please post the answer, if you can get a straight answer, in an update. Thank you.

Iva Marie Gibbs
Iva Marie Gibbs

Above are the MTC board. Now look up how many of these people own, have family that own, or have a "personal interest" in a stl taxi company... It's interesting. List taken from MTC website.

Iva Marie Gibbs
Iva Marie Gibbs

Louis P. Hamilton - Chairman Dave McNutt - Vice Chairman of Operations W. Thomas Reeves - Vice Chairman of Finance Eyasu Asfaw Vincent Bennett Adebabay Gidey Basil Rudawsky Larry Satz J. Kim Tucci

rachelgal
rachelgal

Napster was a peer-to-peer sharing;

Enron had a disdain for regulation;

Subprime mortgage lenders took advantage of the lack of regulation enforcement and deregulation and help the bubble to burst;

"Corporate social mobilization" and you want to call it "community powered"? really?

Who is getting richer your venture capital investors or the struggling underemployed or unemployed Lyft driver? Lyft, you skimp on insurance by making it contingent not primary, and make it hard to see and impossible to use. You sucked the value of the drivers cars and you made them believe they made an unbelievable hourly rate while risking it all, for lyft to make a profit.

James R Johnson
James R Johnson

Lyft and Uber are worlds apart in what they provide to the consumers one is luxury and you pay dearly for it and the other is convenience at an appropriate cost. The Taxi commission in St. Louis serves only to protect business and prohibit free market competition. IT DOES NOT PROTECT CONSUMERS!!! If it did it would have had more than 75% of its' workforce working on New Years Eve of 2014. The taxi services that currently reside in St. Louis are an embarrassment to the entire metro area. I've used taxis all over the world, as well as Uber and 'Am familiar with Lyft and by far the shadiest, dirtiest, and most dangerous I've come across are the taxis here in St. Louis.

ryanbrockschmitt
ryanbrockschmitt

How exactly is Uber planning on working with the Taxi Commission? Are riders only going to be able to get rides from existing taxis like with Carmel? City officials seem to think that this is all about wanting to hail a taxi from your smartphone and it's not. 

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