Posted Friday, March 28th 2014 @ 1pm by Jim Forsyth
Mayor Castro today held out an olive branch to the car sharing company 'Lyft,' saying Lyft 'should be part of the equation' in San Antonio's transportation picture, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Police Chief William McManus earlier this week send Lyft a 'strongly worded cease and desist order' and warning that Lyft drivers face arrest in San Antonio.
1200 WOAI news was first to report that Lyft was hiring drivers and had set up operations in San Antonio.
'Lyft,' which bills itself as 'your friend with a car,' is a 'transportation app.' It allows members to summon a car over a cell phone, and the app summons an individual who has agreed to provide transportation services in their spare time. The passenger pays not a fare, but a 'donation' to the cab driver.
Lyft says it is like asking a friend to take you someplace and giving them gas money to do so.
But McManus says Lyft does not meet inspection, licensing, background check, and car safety standards. He says it is 'dangerous' for passengers to step into Lyft vehicles.
Castro stressed that Lyft 'needs to meet strong standards for safety and quality (insurance, driver background checks, etc.)' but he said 'we will get it done.'
"San Antonio is moving forward, not standing still," Castro said.
What attracts Castro to Lyft is its market focus of millennials, who don't own a car and live downtown, the very people Castro's 'decade of downtown' has been attempting to reach.