Lyft announces plan to launch in Toronto in December

Uber updated its ride scheduling feature.                  Getty Images

Uber updated its ride scheduling feature. Getty Images

The service has made a decision to begin offering lifts to people in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, Canada. Lyft has raised $3.6 billion in funding since it launched in 2012, compared with the roughly $15 billion raised by Uber, which has a valuation of about $68 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lyft will likely have a good chance of becoming a strong competitor relatively quickly - Lyft co-founder John Zimmer points out to the Toronto Star that 50,000 Torontonians have the Lyft app on their phone already, despite there being no service available in the country.

"Lyft has grown considerably this past year, and Toronto was a no brainer for the company's first worldwide launch".

When service begins there, Lyft hopes to have enough drivers to respond to ride requests in two to three minutes, as it does in major USA cities.

In an effort to entice drivers, Lyft is offering a 25 percent bonus for the first 3,000 drivers who are approved and who complete 20 rides a week during the company's first three months of operation in Toronto.

Toronto city council introduced rules to allow the service to operate legally a year ago. We see it as a world-class city. Potential drivers must also pass DMV and background checks, both of which are free and conducted online.

On Monday, the ride-hailing company announced it will begin operating in Toronto, starting in December. But Lyft won't say which city is next.

The city is four months late in reporting back on the first year of new ride-hailing rules introduced by Toronto city council.

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