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Lyft Temporarily Ceases Service in Kansas City

Lyft Temporarily Ceases Service in Kansas City

I found out this fact from an Uber Facebook Group yesterday but waited until today until I can get a third party to confirm the findings. This article was posted about an hour ago:

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/10/22/lyft-will-temporarily-suspend-kc-operations.html

So it is (semi) official: Lyft will be ceasing operations in Kansas City on October 24th, just as the World Series heads to San Francisco. Lyft will at least be able to operate for Game 2 of the World Series, but if the World Series goes to a game 6 or 7, they won’t be available for the thousands of baseball fans needing a ride home. This is especially odd as Lyft is one of the sponsors of MLB and they can’t even operate where the World Series is taking place.

Here is some crucial snippets from the above article:

On Wednesday, the Kansas City Business Journal obtained a message written by Emily Castor, a director of community relations at the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company, apparently addressed to Lyft drivers which said the company is suspending operations in Kansas City starting on Oct. 24

“As part of an agreement with local officials to work together to ensure a permanent future for ride-sharing in Kansas City, we will temporarily suspend operations this Friday,” the message said.

On Tuesday, Kansas City and Lyft also jointly moved to stay — or put on hold — until Jan. 5 all proceedings and deadlines related to their ongoing legal dispute — City of Kansas City, Mo. v. Lyft Inc. — which is being considered by Judge Brian Wimes in the U.S. District Court for Western Missouri.

In this separate article by the same site (http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/09/09/kc-lyft-trial-date-move.html), it was reported that UberX “was declared legal and in compliance with city ordinances [back] in June.”

So this means that Uber can operate for at least a month or two without any competition in Kansas City, especially with the potential additional fans from Game 6 and 7 of the World Series. If it goes to a Game 7, Uber will be ranking in the cash on that night from the pre-game activities, post-game commute and after-parties.

This is a bad turn of events for Lyft in Kansas City. Hopefully they can negotiate operating until next week to get the additional income from the World Series, but that is highly unlikely given the announcement this week. It hasn’t been a good week for Lyft.

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