Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Lyft takes Uber challenge north to Canada

Lyft has said it will launch its ride-hailing app in Toronto by the end of December, in its first worldwide expansion outside the US.

Since its inception, Lyft has kept its operations firmly within the borders of the US.

When service begins there, Lyft hopes to have enough drivers to respond to ride requests in two to three minutes, as it does in major USA cities. The company is also beginning to sign up potential drivers now in advance of its rollout of its service.

This year, Lyft ate into Uber's marketshare nationally causing the ride-hail behemoth's hold on the fall from 84 percent to 73 percent.

Last year, Toronto approved rules that would allow ride-hailing services to operate, after earlier clashes between Uber, regulators and traditional taxis.

Lyft is crossing into Canada at a time when rival Uber has opted out of operating in Quebec, Canada's second-most populous province, to avoid following tough new regulations for drivers.

Lyft announced last month a $1 billion investment led by the venture arm of Google parent Alphabet, to help ramp up its challenge to market leader Uber.

Lyft and Alphabet already have a relationship through a partnership Lyft struck with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit, in May.

In June, the company ousted its co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who has a net worth of $5.1billion according to Forbes, after a female former engineer wrote a blog detailing how she was propositioned by her boss.

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