Lyft and Uber transportation services launch in Houston despite legal issues

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HOUSTON - Controversy is brewing over two ride-sharing services that are now operating in Houston, even though the city says their services are illegal.

The app-based service called Uber launched Friday in Houston, as did its competitor, Lyft.

Lyft's trademark is the big, pink moustache on the front of the car.

Both services had talked with the city of Houston about making changes to its current regulations to allow the companies to work in Houston's city limits. The city says it is willing to work with these new companies, but says the services for now are illegal.

"We will address these issues in a systematic and professional manner and we're not going to be rushed. If they start operating, we will try to shut them down," said Mayor Annise Parker.

Lyft says it will give you a lift for free for the first two weeks. Uber is also offering free rides for now.

The mayor said it's illegal for either company to start working for pay because they don't meet city regulations.

These companies could face serious fines if they violate city ordinances.

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