City Officials: Ride Sharing Company ‘Lyft’ En Route To Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– Hailing a cab with the press of a button could soon become a reality in Sioux Falls. A ride sharing company has taken the first step necessary to operate in South Dakota. The Department of Revenue confirmed Monday that they’ve issued a state sales tax license to Lyft.
“It gives you a big city feel,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether.
It’s the first step, according to Huether and Sioux Falls At-Large City Councilor Christine Erickson.
Huether said holding up his phone during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, “Ready to go, our Lyft App. Soon the press of a button, we’ll being having, we’ll have a car at our doorstep in a very, very short period of time.”
“I can understand and certainly appreciate what it takes to take on a new market. What does it look like? It needs to make sense. They have a lot at risk,” said Erickson.
Officials have fought for several years to pave the way for Transportation Networking Companies in the state. In 2015, the city council passed an ordinance that changed the licensing requirements to allow them to operate in Sioux Falls. Last year, the state legislature also approved a measure changing insurance laws to allow them to operate in South Dakota. However, under the South Dakota tax base, ride sharing services are still subject to taxation.
Erickson said, “You know, in South Dakota, we really tax all services, and so that’s unique than other municipalities and states and so they needed to understand how that structure worked, how it would impact their business and how it would impact their software.”
The Mayor says competition is a good thing.
“Those companies, those drivers, those people who are in that service today provides them just another grand opportunity to enhance their business even more,” said Huether.
City officials couldn’t give a timeline on when Lyft would actually be launched in Sioux Falls. According to the app… soon.
When it does, Lyft would then be in all 50 states.
Councilor Erickson says the company has strict rules on who can become a driver. They have to undergo a background check and have their vehicle in nice working order.