Lyft taps former Obama administration official to lead its policy team

Lyft announced Tuesday that a former top Obama administration official will be joining the ride-hailing company’s ranks.

Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation under former President Obama, will be Lyft’s new chief policy officer and adviser to the company’s co-founders.

The firm said Foxx would report directly to Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer.

“Anthony’s unmatched experience and future-focused perspective will push us forward as we partner with cities and regulators to expand affordable mobility options, take cars off the road, and fundamentally change cities for the better,” Zimmer said in a statement.

{mosads}Foxx, in his own statement, praised Lyft’s “collaborative approach to working with regulators,” and said that he was eager to help the company in this area.

Foxx’s addition comes as ride-hailing companies grapple with the proliferation of regulations from cities and states that want to rein in the nascent industry.

Many state and local government officials worry that without the proper checks in place, ride-hailing providers could pose public safety risks by not conducting thorough background checks on drivers and cause economic damage to local taxicab markets.

Companies also face legislative efforts by Congress to reshape regulations for self-driving cars, an area where both Lyft and its top competitor, Uber, are looking to compete.

Lyft and Uber, as well as others, are pushing for rules that would allow for further innovation while they test their cars on public roads.

The industry faces more scrutiny, however, after a self-driving car with a human monitor in the vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona earlier this year.

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