Lyft Spreads Across US With Openings in 50 More Cities

Ride-hailing firm Lyft will be spreading its presence across the U.S. by adding 50 more cities.

The announcement from Thursday follows one from the previous month about another 40 U.S. cities being added to the service network. Lyft says it’s all part of this year’s “massive expansion,” with the goal of providing millions more people across the country with access to reliable, affordable transportation through a “peer-to-peer ridesharing community.”

The list of 50 new cities served includes mid-size markets across the U.S., such as Pensacola, Fla.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Flint, Mich.; and Amarillo, Texas.

Autoblog reports that Lyft wants to expand to about 300 U.S. cities by the end of the year. The ride-hailing service would be available to about 72 percent of the U.S. population at that point, the company said.

Lyft has been competing head-to-head with Uber. Los Angeles has been considered to be a battleground for the two companies in bringing down fares to get more rides from customers who want to avoid getting stuck driving through heavy traffic and finding limited parking spaces.

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Lyft followed Uber by about two years with its 2012 launch in San Francisco. Uber has been spreading its presence into other segments including food delivery and assisting disabled passengers. Futuristic plans include autonomous vehicles and flying cars.

Lyft, on the other hand, has been sticking with individual and shared rides, though a partnership with General Motors is opening up new opportunities.

In January 2016, GM made a $500 million investment in Lyft and has plans to jointly promote and deliver automated rides and to sell GM cars directly to Lyft drivers who need them. The automaker has been planning to work with Lyft next year to bring thousands of self-driving Chevy Bolts out for test runs, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

GM also sees a growing opportunity serving the carsharing market through its new Maven subsidiary. Maven, like Lyft, is also seeing expansion into new U.S. cities.

Autoblog


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