Ride-sharing hits bumps in the road in Brookings

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BROOKINGS, S.D. - A little more than two weeks ago Lyft made the surprising announcement that the ride-sharing service was now available across the entire state of South Dakota.
Lyft is finding success in Sioux Falls, but some communities are hitting bumps in the road.
“It says it's not available here. It was available here and then it wasn’t,” Lyft driver John Manson said.

Manson lives in Brookings and hopes ride-sharing can get the green light.

“They keep reminding me that I’m available to drive anywhere, except for Brookings,” Manson said.

City officials paved the way for ride-sharing two years ago when they drafted an ordinance to allow companies like Lyft to operate in town.

“The need is there and I really think people would use it, especially during the colder months of the year,” Community Development Director Mike Struck said.

Struck says there is a two-step process to bring Lyft to Brookings.
First the company needs to apply.
The drivers also have to put in an application, complete with a city background check.
Struck says it’s an important step for this college town.

“It's nice to have that safe guard in place, knowing that there isn’t anyone out there that could potentially try to target some younger aged individuals and take advantage of them,” he said.

The city hasn't been in contact with Lyft.
“We’ve heard through the grapevine, we haven’t heard directly from Lyft that they maybe feel that some of our regulations that we have in place may be a little too stringent for their needs,” Struck said.

So, they are reviewing the ordinance.

“Just making sure that were consistent with the industry standard,” Struck said.

City officials hope that might steer Lyft toward business in Brookings.

“We're checking our phones every day. I know a few people that do it and we'll see when it happens,” Manson said.

KSFY News reached out to Lyft to find out why they haven’t applied to operate in Brookings.
Jackie Meng, a representative for the company, said she was working to get an answer, but couldn't say when the company would comment.

Rapid City doesn't have Lyft quite yet either, but the city council is working on an ordinance to allow ride-sharing.
In the meantime, the city is not stopping Lyft drivers from providing rides since a draft of that ordinance is nearly complete.