Lyft Launches in Canada Next Month in Toronto, First Market Outside U.S.

San Francisco-based Lyft has announced it will launch in Canada next month, debuting in Toronto, marking its first foray into a market outside the U.S.

The company announced in a blog post, “We’ve been looking forward to taking our brand of ridesharing international for some time, and we’re super pumped to share this with our close friends up north.”

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First Time With Lyft? Here’s How it Works

1. Download the App. Sign up and add a payment method.

2. Request and Ride Happy. A nearby driver will take care of the rest.

3. Pay Instantly. When the ride ends, autopay through the app — with or without an optional tip.

The ride-sharing company, which has been Uber’s main rival, told The Star in an interview, “We’ve been a business for five years and have been focused entirely on the United States, so we were very deliberate when making a decision to launch in Toronto as our first international market,” said John Zimmer, Lyft’s president and co-founder.

Lyft will debut in the GTA and Hamilton with five options:

  • Regular vehicles for up to four passengers
  • Lyft Plus: room for up to six passengers
  • Lyft Premier: high-end cars
  • Lyft Lux: luxury black cars driven by a “top driver”
  • Lyft Lux SUV: save as above but an SUV

Zimmer said 50,000 people in Toronto downloaded the Lyft app this year, despite no service being available, while noting the company is a more ethical option to their closest competitor, which he wouldn’t mention by name, but obviously referring to Uber.

It’ll be interesting to see how Lyft fares in Toronto. Rival Uber has nearly 50,000 drivers in the city alone after five years of operation.

Meanwhile, Beck Taxi believes Lyft will make Toronto gridlock worse, saying “It’s another reason to encourage cars to cruise the streets of our city — many of them who come from outside it — who otherwise wouldn’t be there.”

Are you ready to use Lyft in Toronto?

[via NYT]

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