Lyft today announced that it will launch its ride-hailing service in Toronto next month as its first market outside of the United States.
Riders in Canada’s largest city—and nearby Hamilton, Ontario—will be able to hail Lyft or Lyft Plus vehicles that hold up to four or six passengers respectively, as well as fancier Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux, or Lyft Lux SUV rides.
Lyft hasn’t disclosed passenger rates, payouts to drivers, or any other specific details ahead of the December expansion.
Lyft’s biggest competitors in Toronto will be Uber, which launched in the city over five years ago, and traditional Beck Taxi cabs. The city also operates the TTC subway system and a network of streetcars and buses.
Beck Taxi, which has already heavily protested Uber, naturally isn’t happy about Lyft’s arrival. “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,” said the company’s operations manager Kristine Hubbard.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said he expects Toronto will likely become one of the ride-sharing company’s top five markets overall in North America.
We see it as a world-class city. It will likely become one of our top five markets overall. We expect that to happen, and we see it as a city that really shares the values that we have at Lyft — focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect and promoting both inclusion and diversity.
Zimmer said 50,000 people in Toronto downloaded the Lyft app this year despite the service not being available in the city. He also subtly suggested that Lyft will be a fresh alternative to the scandal-clad Uber.
Lyft’s app can already be downloaded from the App Store [Direct Link] in Canada for iPhone and Apple Watch.
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