Lyft misses payment to renew operating license in Rapid City leaving rideshare drivers in limbo

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 8:26 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Since Thursday, Lyft Drivers in Rapid City have not been able to accept rides coming from inside city limits.

“If we’re not getting ride requests; we’re not driving, we’re not making the money, and it really hurts our passengers for being in this predicament because a lot of them require a Lyft ride to get to and from work or to and from the airport or just a safe ride at night,” says rideshare driver Laurie Schlecht.

Every year, Lyft has to renew its $1,500 operating license with the city and this year they missed that payment.

Darrell Shoemaker with the City of Rapid City says they were in communication with Lyft about their upcoming renewal.

“They kept indicating they had an upgrade in their accounting software, that they didn’t realize there was an issue, they indicated they had sent payment but it went to the wrong address we still don’t know where they have sent that, they indicated that they had sent it overnight, we never received anything,” says Shoemaker.

Shoemaker says they extended the operating license as far as they could past the February 14th expiration date, but it eventually led to Lyft suspending their operations in Rapid City.

The city was asked why don’t they extend Lyft services arbitrarily, but they didn’t know if Lyft will continue operating or be changing their operating license in any way.

“As a show of good faith, we’re going to allow email authorization for services to continue into Monday,” says Shoemaker. “If we don’t have payment from Lyft again we’ll be over a week past their anniversary date, if we don’t have payment in hand we will have a complaint ready to go and they would have to suspend operations based on non-payment.”

Shoemaker says Lyft has sent the city of Rapid City a tracking number for a shipment. The city has no idea what the rideshare company is sending them, but is assuming it’s a payment.

As of Friday, the shipment is in Kentucky and Lyft drivers are able to operate.

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