Ride-hailing service Lyft is coming to Toronto next month in its first expansion outside the United States, giving those in Canada's largest city a new commuting option. Lyft recently secured a $1 billion investment deal with Google parent company Alphabet and, for the first time, they've announced concrete plans for an global expansion.
The company operates in hundreds of USA cities and Toronto will be its first global market. It will operate exactly as it does in the US: Riders can open Lyft's app, request a ride, then take one to wherever they need to go.
Last year, city council voted in favour of a package of regulations that effectively legalized ridesharing services in Toronto.
"There is some pretty high, positive sentiment with Lyft", he added. The company is also beginning to sign up potential drivers now in advance of its rollout of its service.
The ride-hailing startup announced in a blog post today that it will start serving passengers in Toronto next month. For example, Quebec wants drivers to complete 35 hours of training, which Uber said was not feasible for many of its drivers who have other jobs and only drive for the service part-time. As of February, Lyft had a presence in 300 cities.
The move follows the controversial launch of rival Uber in Toronto a few years ago, which saw protests by taxi drivers.