Big news in the rideshare industry this week, and this time, it’s all about Lyft. Lyft announced they will be expanding their operations internationally, entering into the Canadian ridesharing market.
Lyft will begin operating in Toronto starting in December of this year, making the city the first that Lyft will operate outside of the United States. Previously Lyft operated in international markets solely through partnerships with existing rideshare companies present in the market. It’s no secret this strategic move is part of Lyft’s efforts to take on Uber.
Uber already announced that for the first time ever, their customers actually decreased, while Lyft saw steady increases.
Lyft believes Toronto is the perfect market to bring their ridesharing service, calling it an obvious fit for Lyft’s culture and values. John Zimmer, Lyft’s president, even believes Toronto will eventually become one of Lyft’s largest markets.
To recruit for drivers in Toronto, Lyft will offer a 25% bonus for the first 3,000 drivers approved to work in the city and also complete at least 20 rides a week for the first three months of operation. The company expects there to be high interest in the consumer segment for using Lyft.
Toronto’s taxi industry will not be too pleased with Lyft entering the market, considering their resistance to Uber in Canada over the past five years. Taxi drivers in Canada, just as many do in the U.S., believe rideshares should be regulated as taxis are.
In regards to consumers using rideshares in Canada, they have enjoyed the presence of more transportation options available.
In addition to international expansion, Lyft is also in the process of raising financing and exploring an initial public offering next year. Currently a $1B deal between Alphabet’s investment venture and Lyft is underway.
Toronto is also quickly becoming a hub for autonomous vehicle enhancements. Both Uber and Google have research and artificial intelligence branches established in the city, and General Motors employees several hundred engineers in Toronto tasked with developing self-driving car technology.
Felicia is a Multimedia Guru at RideGuru. She recently graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Marketing and minor in Computer Information Systems, and is currently attending Columbia University for her master's. She is an avid rideshare user who enjoys both domestic and international travel.