Torontonians will soon be able to order a ride from Lyft, Uber’s fiercest competitor across the border.
Lyft announced in a blog post it will be expanding its service to Toronto—its first international market. The move will heat up competition in the city’s ridesharing market that’s been dominated by Uber for the past five years.
“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,” the company wrote.
San Francisco-based Lyft launched five years ago and has exclusively served the United States market, reaching one million daily rides this July.
The ride-hailing company hinted it will be operational in Toronto before the end of the year. The company will serve the GTA from Hamilton to Oshawa, offering riders their first lift for free.
“From brunch in Bloordale and belly laughs on Mercer St to polishing off some late-night poutine at your favourite burger joint out in Woodbridge, we know Toronto is the place to be.”
John Zimmer, Lyft co-founder, said in an interview with the Toronto Star that 50,000 Torontonians downloaded the ride-hailing app this year before service extended to the city. He expects Toronto to become one of Lyft’s top five markets.
“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 told the Star.
Toronto’s also seen newcomers like Facedrive enter the ridesharing space, a carbon-neutral alternative.