Competition coming for Uber as Lyft announces Toronto expansion
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 6:37AM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 6:03PM EST
It appears Uber will have some fresh competition in the city as popular U.S. ridesharing company Lyft prepares to expand to Toronto.
The company, which operates in hundreds of U.S. cities, launched five years ago and Toronto will be Lyft’s first international market.
Speaking to the Business News Network on Monday, Lyft General Manager Tim Houghton said the company is the fastest-growing ridesharing app in North America.
“Right now we feel that we are at the right stage as a company, where we can do Toronto justice and what that means is really studying the market to make sure we understand Toronto’s transportation needs, working with regulators to make sure we’re compliant with all local regulations, and really that we are a good partner,” he said.
Houghton said more than 50,000 people in Toronto have already downloaded the Lyft app.
Lyft will serve the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and plans to launch by the end of the year. The company will begin driver recruitment starting today and Houghton said anyone is welcome to apply.
“One of the things we really invest in a lot and one of the reasons I’m here in Toronto leading a local team is building the driver community. So going out in the community, having driver events, really listening to drivers and making sure their feedback is being incorporated into our product,” Houghton told CP24 Monday.
“The vision is by retaining drivers better, by keeping them happy on the platform, you just have more experienced drivers.”
Fare details have not yet been released but in a statement sent to CP24, a Lyft spokesperson said the company will be bringing a “new affordable transportation option” to Toronto consumers.
Lyft’s launch comes a little more than a year after Toronto city council voted in favour of a package of regulations that effectively legalized ridesharing services like Lyft and its main competitor Uber.
In a statement released Monday, Uber spokesperson Susie Heath said the company welcomes the competition.
“More options can help reduce congestion and pollution as consumers increasingly make the switch from driving their own car to using shared mobility services,” the statement read.