UPDATE: Lyft has been declared “unauthorized” by New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). In a statement, the commission said: “Lyft has not complied with TLC’s safety requirements and other licensing criteria to verify the integrity and qualifications of the drivers or vehicles used in their service, and Lyft does not hold a license to dispatch cars to pick up passengers.”

It says that TLC-licensed drivers who accept assignments from Lyft will be at risk of losing their licenses and vehicles, and could even be fined up to $2,000.

Our original story follows:

Ridesharing service Lyft just announced that it will enter the New York City market on Friday at 7pm Eastern, but it’s avoiding Manhattan in favor of the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs.

Lyft noted that it is launching first in the areas of New York that are “vastly underserved by public transit options.” The company claims to have undertaken a screening process for all NYC drivers that is more stringent than the city’s taxi companies. New passengers can enjoy two weeks of free rides in New York as a launch promotion.

In somewhat related news, the New York Attorney General announced today an agreement with rival car service Uber to limit surge pricing during emergencies and natural disasters, in keeping with the state’s price gouging laws.

 ➤ Lyft Launches in Brooklyn & Queens [h/t TechCrunch]

Featured Image Credit – Lyft