AUSTIN, Texas -- Questions came about on Wednesday about the legality of a new ride sharing company that goes online Thursday in Austin.

The ride sharing app called Lyft announced it will launch on Thursday.

The app links people who need rides, with drivers using their smart phones.

The launch comes after Austin City Council created a group to study alternative taxi cab services earlier this month.

Austin's Transportation Department told KVUE News that Lyft has not contacted the city, and if the city finds it operating out of compliance it will be held to the same city codes as other transportation companies.

Yellow Cab Austin released this statement regarding the app's launch:

Transportation Network Companies choosing to launch illegal operations shows a complete lack of respect for the City Of Austin. We strongly advise everyone to ask for proof of commercial insurance before using any illegal service. While they choose to sidestep the rules, we'll honor a commitment to addressing our city's challenges through legal transportation options that prioritize the safety of both riders and drivers, including innovations like the Hail A Cab app. We will also continue to respect the process set forth by the Austin City Council -- one that is in place for the protection of our residents and visitors.

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