Lyft: 'We look forward to being able to operate in Rochester soon'
Uber is not the only ride-sharing company with its sights on Rochester.
Representatives from Lyft have been in contact with the Rochester International Airport about potentially bringing service to the area in the future, airport director John Reed confirmed this week to Med City Beat.
Reed declined to comment on the details of the discussion. However, he said passengers regularly ask for ride-sharing services and the airport is "ready and able" to begin handling service from transportation network companies.
"We need all styles of operation — be it ride-sharing services, cabs or shuttles," said Reed. "We are excited to be able to offer [ride-sharing] as an option for travelers who arrive in Rochester."
Earlier this month, the city council passed a new ordinance allowing TNCs, like Uber and Lyft, to launch service locally. The regulations will go into effect following a second reading on Jan. 4. Uber has indicated it will be ready to launch within weeks of the ordinance's formal adoption.
Though smaller in size, Lyft is Uber's top competitor in the fast-growing ride-sharing industry. Launched in 2012, Lyft now operates in more than 200 U.S. cities, including both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In an email, a spokesperson for Lyft said, "We applaud the city of Rochester for adopting a commonsense framework that encourages the economic opportunity and expanded transportation choice that ridesharing provides."
While the company is not ready to share any launch plans at the moment, the spokesperson added, "We look forward to being able to operate in Rochester soon."
Meantime, at the request of local taxi companies, the city council is now in the process of reviewing its taxicab ordinance. In order to compete with the TNCs, the companies have asked the city to ease some existing regulations on the industry, such as allowing them to hire drivers as independent contractors.
(Cover graphic: Lyft)