Ride-sharing company Lyft announced that it was pushing into 24 new cities across the United States, bringing its total cities to 60, surpassing competitor Uber, who currently is in 48 cities in the country. The move positions Lyft to continue to make moves in the ride-share culture that is growing among Americans, especially youth.
13 of those cities currently will be served only by Lyft, as Uber has yet to establish a presence. This should be a huge boost for the company as it seeks to increase its visibility and presence in multiple new markets.
Among the new cities Lyft is entering are Ann Arbor, Fairfield County & New Haven, Fresno, Jacksonville, Louisville, Modesto, Newark & North New Jersey, Oklahoma City, Raleigh-Durham, San Bernardino and Tulsa, which are also served by Uber. But in places like Albuquerque, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi, Kansas City, Lexington, Lincoln, Memphis, Omaha, Rochester, Spokane, Toledo and Virginia Beach Uber is nowhere to be found and the company will have a monopoly for the near future.
While Uber, with Beijing becoming its latest city addition, topped the 100 cities internationally total, Lyft is focusing its efforts on American expansion and has yet to enter the international market, although it says once establishing itself in the US, it does plan to do so.
"Our goal is to be in the most cities in the U.S. and have the lowest prices in those cities," John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft quoted.
The company also said that it would give an additional 10 percent discount on rates on top of the lately reduced 20 percent costs for passengers. On top of that, in the new markets, riders will have two weeks of free rides before being charged, making the news of its expansion a major threat for Uber and its market share.
Using Android or iPhones to request service, riders can be picked up and delivered to their destination at often times cheaper rates than traditional taxis, which has led to a backlash by cab drivers in many locations as their business appears to be getting hit by the new services.
The company is calling it "Lyftapalooza."
The question for Lyft is whether the smaller markets will be as fruitful as the metropolitan areas it had traditionally only been in.
"We are in smaller cities than we have been in before," Zimmer said. "We want to see how those cities perform, but our goal is to eventually be a platform for everyone everywhere."