Lyft has gone international. The company will begin operations in Toronto, Canada, starting this December. This will be the very first time Lyft will step outside the U.S market. Lyft is Uber’s biggest rival in the U.S. and was set to grab a third of the ride-hailing market in the U.S. in the most recent sign that the organization is proceeding to benefit from Uber’s troubles throughout this year.
“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,” John Zimmer, Lyft’s president and co-founder, told the Star in an exclusive interview.
Next month Lyft will launch operations in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton with five ride options available for customers. The company will offer regular vehicles for up to four passengers; the Plus service which will provide vehicles that can carry up to six passengers; the Premier service which offers high-end cars; and Lux with luxury black cars “piloted by a top driver” and the SUV version of Lux.
“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,” Lyft said in a statement. “It’s a big decision. It’s a big moment for us, and we’re excited to be coming to Toronto.”
Lyft has been enlisting local drivers including some drivers who will respond to smartphone hails, and set up a local “hub” offering expertise to those who want to use their personal cars to earn money by aligning their cars with Lyft.
“We have had our sights set on international expansion for months, and the Canadian market is an obvious fit for Lyft’s culture, values and the service that we provide,” Logan Green, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The company has not yet announced passenger rates, driver fees, or details of the Toronto office.