On his maiden voyage as a driver for Lyft, the renegade car service, Juan Arango picked up a fare at the Ramada Plaza Marco Polo Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.
Moments after dropping the passenger off at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne on Wednesday, Arango turned onto Crandon Boulevard — and got stopped by Miami-Dade County cops.
The passenger was not just a fare — he was an undercover Miami-Dade County code enforcement officer, and the ride was a sting. Arango’s white Toyota Corolla, which hadn’t even been sporting Lyft’s signature hot-pink mustache on the hood, was towed away on the spot.
Five minutes later, the police pulled over another Lyft driver on the same street. Stanley Scott, 31, had just let off a pair of passengers — more county cloak-and-dagger operatives — at the Ritz. Scott’s black Honda Insight got towed away too.
Both drivers told the Miami Herald they didn’t know the county considers their business illegal.
“I trusted that if the service was working in Miami, it was allowed,” Arango said Friday.
It’s not. And the county, under pressure from existing taxicab and limousine owners, has escalated its enforcement of the defiant car-service industry, joining forces with the Miami-Dade Police Department to catch scofflaw drivers.