Lyft Tacoma relaunches after 2-year absence
Ride-share company Lyft has been absent from Tacoma since late 2014, but Lyft Tacoma relaunched Tuesday after breaking through some legal barriers.
People in need of a ride can now call up a Lyft, using the app. The company is holding a relaunch special to mark the occasion — riders get $5 off their first ride in town using the code “LYFTINTAC.”
“We’re thrilled for Lyft to be back in Tacoma,” said Lyft’s Tacoma General Manger Todd Kelsay. “We’d like to thank Mayor Strickland and City Council for their commitment to bringing safe, modern transportation options like Lyft to the City of Tacoma.”
There has been an absence of Lyft Tacoma-based rides since late 2014 when the ride-share hit a regulatory wall. During the two-year gap, drivers could drop off riders in Tacoma if the ride started outside the city but no rides could be sourced from within the city. Tacoma wanted Lyft and its drivers to pay licensing fees, and also have drivers take specified training. All of that was already being done in the greater Seattle region. Tacoma’s government has now modified its regulations to accommodate the relatively newer form of ride-share companies.
“The regulations passed in October 2014 were duplicative and burdensome for drivers who serviced the greater Seattle area, and as a result, Lyft paused operations in Tacoma in December 2014,” a Lyft spokesperson said. “We are thankful for the efforts of Mayor Strickland to modernize the regulations, allowing for Lyft’s return to the city today.”
While Lyft was staying out of Tacoma because of the regulations, rival ride-share company Uber maintained its operations in town.