MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Uber officially has some competition in Montgomery after the city council voted unanimously to approve Lyft's license for a Transportation Network Company (TNC) Tuesday evening.
City officials said they're proud that they paved the way for ride share companies last year when Uber came to town, and the fact that Lyft wants to drive into Montgomery speaks volumes about growth in the capitol city.
Lyft is very similar to Uber. Drivers use their own vehicles to transport, and riders request a ride using an app.
It's been a little over a year since the city council approved Lyft's chief competitor after working through some procedural issues with regulations. The groundwork has been laid and some say the transition will be smoother this go around.
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said Lyft's desire to do business in Montgomery indicates that Uber has been successful here.
"That means that Uber, who was here first, plowed the ground and is successful because Lyft is not going to come into some place they don't have a market for that and that gives competition," the mayor said. "Competition is always good in a community, so we're excited about that. Hopefully the good taxi service will continue to thrive and prosper. To have Lyft with such a national reputation and an app is really positive, and I think it speaks volumes about what's happening in Montgomery," the mayor went on.
According to Strange, Lyft operates in 44 states and recently launched in the Birmingham area.
Before councilors voted on the TNC license, a Lyft official briefed the group during a work-session. Similar to when Uber was trying to get up and running, there were questions about background checks, operating at the airport, and licensing and compliance.
Lyft officials at the meeting denied an on-camera interview, but they did tell say this is the first step in the process. Next, they'll apply for their business license and aim for a late March launch date.
In a statement, Lyft spokesperson Mary Caroline Pruitt said:
We also reached out to Uber to get an update on their success and have yet to hear back.