ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Lyft says it will defy New Mexico regulators by continuing to operate in Albuquerque, a move that a state official says could result in large fines for the ridesharing service.
The Public Regulation Commission Wednesday ordered San Francisco-based Lyft to stop operating in New Mexico at least until June 2, when Lyft must respond to commission allegations that it is operating an illegal taxi service.
Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen told the Albuquerque Journal Thursday that Lyft, a mobile device-based service that connects people seeking rides with people who have cars, will continue to operate in Albuquerque because it doesn’t believe it’s breaking the law.
Public Regulation Commission Transportation Division Director Ryan Jerman said Lyft could face up to daily fines of $10,000 for each of five different violations of state law. Jerman also said each trip by a driver may be a separate violation.
The entry into the transportation marketplace by companies like Uber and Lyft has left state legislators across the nation and local officials struggling to catch up with emerging technology that competes with traditional taxis and limos, but with less overhead.
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