Ride-sharing app makes debut in Orlando

Lyft makes debut despite police threats

ORLANDO, Fla. - The popular ride-sharing app "Lyft" made it's debut in Orlando at 7 p.m. Thursday evening, despite the threat that police may issue citations or tow Lyft drivers.

Local 6 rode along with a first-time Lyft driver as she set out on the road, unfazed by the threat that police may pull her over. The moment April Hughes turned on her Lyft app and set it to driver mode, a customer asked for a ride. Off she went searching for her customer via GPS signal.

April Hughes felt confident her new employer would settle the disagreement with city officials. It launched despite failing to comply with city rules requiring drivers to register as vehicles for hire.

Hughes said she thinks she's just giving a ride to a new friend, but the city considers her a driver without a city permit.

When asked if the signature pink mustache on the grill of Lyft vehicles might become a target for police, Hughes said, "It might be, but I'm not going to be worried about it because I'm not doing anything that's against the law right now."

In a statement, Lyft spokesperson Katie Dally told Local 6, "Lyft's peer-to-peer platform doesn't fit into existing regulations, which is why we've been in conversations with city leaders to work on new rules and solutions that secure a future for ridesharing in Orlando."

Lyft is not the first ride-sharing app in Orlando. Uber is facing the same legal debate. Orlando police have already given Uber drivers 14 tickets and towed seven cars.

Drivers admit the controversy over permits and risk of getting pulled over might keep some people from using the ride-sharing service.

"Hopefully it won't stress out my clients too much, but I don't think it'll really be too much of an issue," said Hughes.

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