Lyft, one of three car ride apps ordered by the city to stop operating in L.A., is holding a community meeting in Culver City tonight in an attempt to fire-up public support to "Save the Stache in LA!"
Lyft, Uber and Sidecar were all sent cease-and-desist letters by the L.A. Department of Transportation last month. And all three have told the Weekly ...
... they will defy the city's order.
The three say that because they have temporary permission from the state Public Utilities Commission to operate statewide, they don't need the city's blessing.
The LADOT says that the ride services violate local ordinances, particularly when their cars stop for people who hail them -- something only taxis are permitted to do.
While Lyft and Sidecar pair private drivers with people who request rides via their smartphone apps -- something the city says is illicit because car services are supposed to have dedicated vehicles with state "TCP" permits -- Uber appears to be the most legit because it does have dedicated, permitted rides.
The trips must be pre-arranged however, and when drivers allegedly stop for those who hail them, they could get a ticket, the city says.
And the city's powerful taxicab companies aren't too happy with the ride services, either.
In the meantime some if not all the app companies have started to lobby City Hall and connect with new Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been a cheerleader for technology.
Two weeks ago his spokesman, Yusef Robb, said this:
These apps represent the kind of innovation Mayor-elect Garcetti wants to see -- new, cost-effective solutions that make life easier. At the same time, the traditional taxi system includes city-specific regulations intended to ensure service across L.A. and provide other public benefits. As Mayor, he will work to bring all sides together so we can move forward with innovative transportation options that are safe, convenient and more efficient.
Tonight's meeting, meanwhile, will feature food, drinks, music and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer at Atom Factory, 10351 West Washington Blvd. It starts at 7 and lasts until 9. RSVP info is here.