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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