As expected, US-based ride-sharing giant Lyft has expanded outside its home market for the first time, and as predicted, Canada is its first pot of call. Uber’s biggest rival is now available to customers in Toronto.
“Our passports are packed and we’re crossing the border,” the company said in a post on its corporate blog.
“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.”
Lyft has not confirmed the exact date for launch, but did says its service will be operational “around to help ring in the holidays.”
Unlike Uber, Lyft has been slow to spread its wings and has instead focused on building in the United States. While the company is now moving to Canada, a swift roll out to other nations is not expected to happen. Yes, Lyft will likely continue to move to other markets, but it will be more gradual that Uber’s rapid evolution.
Lyft can benefit from Uber’s eagerness to explore new frontiers. For example, heading into Toronto, Lyft already has the regulatory network to begin operating legally immediately. Uber was forced to operate as a rouge company outside of Canadian laws until a breakthrough in 2016 allow insurance and regulations to be organized to accommodate ride-sharing.
This has happened in many Canadian markets (but not all), so Lyft has room to expand beyond Toronto in the future.
Lyft’s arrival is important as it gives Uber its first major market competitor in Canada. Numerous smaller companies have risen on the back of ride-sharing regulations, but few can compete with Uber. Lyft provides true competition.