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New Ride Sharing Service Pulls Up to the Westside

Lyft, a ride-sharing company, started in San Francisco and recently received government approval that allows it to expand.

A new app that connects drivers with passengers has expanded from San Francisco to L.A.’s Westside.

With an iPhone or Android, a person looking for a ride can request one from a driver in the neighborhood and then donate money that is deposited to the driver’s bank account directly through the app.

Lyft conducts DMV and criminal background checks on all drivers, and provides up to $1 million in liability insurance per incident. Drivers must be at least 23 years old with a model 2000 or newer vehicle and have no more than two moving violations in three years.

The company’s expansion comes after the California Public Utilities Commission rescinded a previously imposed fine of $20,000 on Jan. 30 against Lyft and other ride-sharing services such as Uber and Sidecar.

At first, the CPUC argued that these services should be regulated like limousines or airport vans, but later loosened its guidelines to allow companies like Lyft to grow.

Since Lyft launched on the Westside, it has about 100 drivers and expanded service to areas east of the 405 Freeway.

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