New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission has voted 5-0 to force the innovative ride-sharing service Lyft to stop offering its services in New Mexico. Given the anti-competitive nature of New Mexico’s laws governing taxis and other modes of public transportation, this is no surprise.
These laws were indeed reformed slightly in recent years, but the best that could be achieved was a reduction in regulations. Obviously, nothing close to a free market was achieved and it won’t be achieved until the government no longer has authority over market.
What would have been nice is if the PRC had taken a “wait-and-see” approach with Lyft and at least given the service the opportunity to either provide its customers with a good, safe service or fail to do so with either the PRC shutting them down or (more likely) the market and the lack of customers doing so. The real shame here is that the PRC is stifling fun, innovation, and is ultimately making life in New Mexico (Albuquerque in particular) a little less interesting. In other words, they’re not “protecting” the public, rather the PRC is protecting the status quo of the taxi industry.