10 Important Sentences from the Judge's Ruling Against Lyft in St. Louis

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Lyft
Lyft can't operate or advertise rides in St. Louis, a judge ruled.
The ride-sharing app Lyft must stop giving and advertising rides in St. Louis, for the summer and possibly forever, a St. Louis circuit court judge ruled Monday.

The news doesn't change much: Lyft was already under a temporary restraining order preventing it from operating in St. Louis when Judge Joan Moriarty granted the preliminary injunction Monday. Lyft has another chance to plead its case in a permanent injunction hearing set for the end of August, so the story isn't over.

The latest ruling is a win for the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, which has demanded that Lyft, Uber, Carmel and other rideshare app businesses comply with taxi codes and license drivers and cars. Carmel is fully licensed, and Uber is working with the city on licensing.

See also: Here's Why Random People Are Posting Lyft Coupons in All Your Facebook Events

Hidden in Moriarty's 24-page ruling, Daily RFT found ten important (but seemingly minor) judgements that could determine Lyft's fate in St. Louis.

Let us translate the legalese. Here are the ten most important sentences in the preliminary injunction against Lyft:

1. "Lyft's software application is computing charges based on the car's positioning, accomplishing the same purpose as a taxi meter that measures the distance from point to point."

In court Lyft's legal team argued that the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission could not legally regulate Lyft because Lyft isn't technically a taxi. After all, Lyft cars don't have taximeters -- only pink mustaches, fist bumps and an app. Unless a car has a taximeter plugged into it, it's not a taxi and is exempt from the same regulations, Lyft's lawyers said.

But the judge is clear in her judgement that the Lyft app counts as a taximeter when it's used to calculate the distance and price of a ride. The app asks riders for a "suggested donation," but that donation is based on a calculated distance and rate. That means Lyft could be forced to follow the same rules as other vehicle-for-hire businesses.

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Lyft
Sorry, St. Louis, but we don't get to do this yet...legally, anyway.
2. "The driver is driving from point A to point B based on the orders of the passenger. The driver is driving from point A to point B to make a profit."

Lyft calls itself a ridesharing service. In the courtroom, Lyft's legal team likened the business to a bulletin board in a college dormitory: One person posts a flyer saying they want a ride to the grocery store, and another person who's going there anyway agrees to take him or her in exchange for a few bucks in gas money. Similarly, Lyft's ridesharing app shows drivers with minutes or hours to spare waiting to help the next customer get to their destination, lawyers argued.

But Moriarty isn't buying it. She ruled that Lyft is a business providing a service, like other vehicle-for-hire companies -- not just a community forum for ride trades.

See also: Lyft Never Told New Drivers It's Technically Illegal, Not Licensed in St. Louis

3. "MTC has a high likelihood of success on the merits."

This is Moriarty's way of saying that Lyft is looking more and more like vehicle-for-hire business, the kind of business that the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission regulates. In this case, it's the legal way of saying, "If it walks like a duck and acts like a duck, it's a duck."

4. "The Court concludes that absent a preliminary injunction, there is a substantial threat of irreparable harm to MTC and the traveling public. Absent a preliminary injunction, MTC has no way of adequately enforcing the regulations that were created for the safety of the public."

Moriarty has to stop Lyft with an injunction, she writes, because otherwise the company would break rules designed to protect people from irresponsible drivers, unsafe cars, unscrupulous cab drivers and more. Lyft has argued that the taxicab commission doesn't have the power to regulate it, but here, Moriarty says the MTC has the right to protect the public from dangers Lyft may bring.

5. "Although Lyft has an excess liability insurance coverage policy, there are questions remaining regarding how this insurance would protect Lyft drivers and passengers."

The question on insuring rideshare drivers is particularly difficult, especially because the drivers use their own cars. Since most commercial car insurance plans exclude drivers who are driving for hire, such as Lyft drivers, the cars aren't technically covered by any insurance as long as a driver has a passenger in the vehicle. That means there are serious legal questions about who would be responsible -- the driver? Lyft? both? -- if an on-duty Lyft driver got into a serious accident.

Everyone wants to see Lyft's insurance policy, which it claims has a $1 million limit covering driver liability for bodily injury and/or property damage of passengers and/or third parties. If anyone should be able to order to see the policy in full, it's a judge. But in this ruling, even Judge Moriarty says the document is a mystery. Officials are unlikely to approve Lyft for licensing if the company can't prove beyond question that it legally insures its drivers.

Five more reasons, on page two.


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40 comments
Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Funny how libs want regulations except when it effects them directory. Naive :/

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

I mean I guess saying cabs are half as good as lyft might be a good selling point...

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Cabs have GPS and dash cams. When's the last time you were in one ? Look you want to get into one that's your choice. I'll stick with a reputable company. Who knows maybe it will catch on. That's the free market. As far as waiting. I dint wait. Call make an appointment. I get a text when they are 3-5 mins away. Don't wait. Try county cab if your waiting. I use them all the time. 2-4 times a week to the airport and back.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Points to Eric Farlow! Cabs are going to be a thing of the past unless they step up to the plate rather than just trying to disqualify the opposing team. They're bullies.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Oh, and I am personal friends with every cabbie? Smh.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

you forgot "unnecessary" in your first sentence. I agree with you on adding better public transit options though.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Lyft drivers have licenses with a photo, phone number that they actually use to call you directly when they arrive, insurance.. please go on because you haven't listed extensive background checks which lyft uses as well, what about a nice new car with a friendly driver that often provides free water and snacks for a much cheaper price that are readily available within 5 minutes of you at all times? How about a car that is constantly monitored by GPS? Oh cabs don't have that either huh. You have no clue what you're talking about.

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

It's a hip new (stingy) solution, instead of investing more in public transit.

Harrison Elfrink
Harrison Elfrink

Cabbies have to go through more regulations than ride-share drivers. Also, if we're so concerned with the quality of transit, why not have buses that run better and have more city buses ? Why piss it away on bike lanes or allow an unregulated transit system into a city that caters to a small customer base?

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Well a cabbie has a license with a photo ,phone number on the cab ,insurance need I go on ?

Nat Sirius
Nat Sirius

How is that any different from getting in a cab?

Terry Weatherford
Terry Weatherford

And getting in a cab.... is getting in a vehicle with a total stranger. And you've already seen how most of them drive.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Why not just hitchhike ? About as safe. Your getting into a vehicle with a total stranger.

Drizzy Dru
Drizzy Dru

Sounds like the MTC bought a judge to me...

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

Wow another example of how assbackward STL is

rutherford
rutherford

@samuel.roby , it seems like you have some skin in the game, I searched "Samuel Roby Taxi" in google and found that you basically comment on all ride share stories across the country trying to inject half truths. The fact is cab companies have competition now, it's an old model and will eventually die, something else will replace it. Right now that something else is ridesharing, none of it is criminal activity, it's just so new there are no laws and regulations for it; it operates in the gray area. In St. Louis the transportation here sucks and need competition, the cab companies operate so horribly people don't like to use them. I can't even depend on them for rides to the airport or train station. IMO this is a welcome option with better reliability. 


Also, bringing up a well rated driver kidnapping someone is a dumb idea. Just last year in Chicago alone 2 women were raped by 2 different cab drivers who were licensed and "played by the rules". 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/tajamul-syed-chicago-cab-driver-rape_n_4256338.html


http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/26/cab-driver-charged-with-kidnapping-raping-woman-in-his-taxi/



samuel.roby
samuel.roby

Of course, ride-sharing is a fraudulent business model. Not only does it not pay for any municipal business permits while operating their supposedly "business taxi dispatch", they also cut corners on local taxes, on commercial insurance (and no, that gap policy that they offer doesn't cover all that needs to be covered), etc. It is a criminal enterprise that creates unfair, unethical and unlawful business environment. If they want to compete - they need to play by the rules and laws, same ones that thousands of small transportation businesses abide by daily.

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

When unions have a hold on an area anyone new will have a very difficult time competing.

Fallon Lott
Fallon Lott

Was I the only one to notice the judge's name is Moriarty? "Kill you? No, don't be obvious. I mean I'm going to kill you anyway, someday. I don't want to rush it though. I'm saving it up for something special. No no no no no. If you don't stop prying... I will burn you. I will burn... the heart out of you."

Robert A. West
Robert A. West

Great news for cab drivers and the corrupt taxi cab companies. Bad news for just about everyone else in St. Louis.

Mary Miller Cullins
Mary Miller Cullins

Mayors cronies control the taxi cab commission-none of this is surprising...time for new leadership in St. Louis! GO LYFT!

Nathan Gilbert
Nathan Gilbert

Whats horrible about all this is that St. Louis taxi cab drivers are the absolute worst. Good luck getting a cab downtown if you don't have cash. I always get into a fight with them over this and they either won't drive you or they force you to go to an ATM all because they don't want to report their actual income and only take cash. The city seriously needs to consider monitoring them undercover it's gotten a little out of control.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@rutherford You twat waffles can keep saying how different this is when the fucking judge just pointed out that it is exactly the same, the only difference is that you have an app to hail your 'cab' and serve as a meter at the same time. You claim 'better reliability' but the fact is that so many hipster douche nozzles simply want a similar hipster douche nozzle to ferry them around so they don't have to be in the car with a 'dirty, smelly rude foreigner' (a description I have read countless times from the twats who cry about this shit). Just a bunch of clowns who want to insulate themselves in their own little self centered bubble with like minded fucks. Trendy libertarian fucktards no doubt.


Smokey_Joe
Smokey_Joe

There are zero unions involved in this. Perhaps you should dislodge your head from your rectum before regurgitating what you heard on Glenn Beck next time.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Yeah it sure is bad news that all of the idiot fucks who support this shit because they want to appear trendy and different can't ship their money out of our local economy straight to the venture capitalist vultures out in California. Idiot.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Yeah take a note from seattle and put cabs and money to our local economy out of business so you can be driven around by a fuckass tea party muppeteer fuckstick douglas dial. Maybe he will introduce you to his dumbass superhero dressing load friends before he starts ranting about the president.

Smokey_Joe
Smokey_Joe

Nathan the problem here seems to be that your a pussy. Why would you let a cab driver "force" you to go to an ATM? Why don't you stand up for yourself? How many times have you filed a complaint with the MTC when a driver has done this? Zero? That's why you get pushed around. The only issue I see here is that you are a giant gaping vagina.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

You people make this shit up to fight for the right to not have to be driven by people who don't look like you while you fuck around with your god damned iphone. I have never had these problems you describe and I would bet you serious money that I travel by cab far more than you. What the fuck is it with you clowns and your fucking apps?? It's like the fucking pacifier I had to take away from my kids when they turned 2 only they handled it better.


lad21
lad21

@jaco1175 Maybe you should try out Lyft or Uber the next time you are in one of the many cities that offer their services.  It is not the same as a taxi, and it sounds as though you are purely guessing at the experience.  Now please, go ahead and insult me as you have everyone else on this thread with an opinion other than your own.

rutherford
rutherford

@jaco1175 Are you really that stupid? I'm glad you choose to comment when you have zero fucking clue what you're talking about. I live in a city that has all of the rideshares and lot of the people that drive for these services use it as their primary source of income. A lot of the cab drivers dumped driving cabs because the overhead is too high. They don't have to rent or give money back to the government. So I guess of a $20 ride the $1.50 that goes back to a ride share company is basically shipping all of the money out of the local economy? You should open a bank because you seem to know a lot about finance and economics. 


People support it because it's cheaper than cabs. My guess is you're a man of limited means so I would think that would appeal to your sensibility. Maybe not because from your comments you seem too fucking stupid to see beyond yourself.  


So go put on your donegal cap, listen to your record collection and have a fucking clue before you decide to give an opinion you dolt. 

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