Ride-hailing service Lyft is set to launch Tuesday morning in Toronto, taking its battle with Uber for a first drive onto Canadian streets from its home market of the United States.
Uber wasn’t hostile in a statement that said it welcomed the competition “that encourages the use of more transportation alternatives”, saying “it’s proud to have paved the way for ride-sharing in Canada”.
Since drivers for both services are considered private contractors, those interested can work for Uber and Lyft at the same time.
“If I can have them both on at the same time – and whichever one comes first, I am happy to take that ride,” Jordan Samuels told CBC News, one of many thousands who have signed up to drive for Lyft in Toronto.
She says the more rides and shifts she can pick up, the better, hoping the competition will bring more jobs.
Lyft comes online at 10:30 a.m. in the largest Canadian city, with the Toronto Star reporting that 50,000 residents have already downloaded the app.
CBC News report on Lyft
Uber hit by scandal
San Francisco-based Uber has been struck by a serious of detrimental scandals in the past year including a cyber attack that stole personal information from 57 million drivers and customers.
The company came clean on Nov. 21 saying that they paid hackers $100,000 USD to deleted the files they stole a year previous, which appeared to put the issue at rest as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said none of the data has been misused.
Uber in June kicked former Travis Kalanick from the company after an internal investigation revealed he had “built a culture” that allowed sexual harassment of female workers.
Just on Monday, Uber apologized for charging a customer $18,518.50 for a short 21 minute ride in downtown Toronto. A Uber spokesperson said the rider was fully refunded.
The company said it was a result of driver error, and not a technical glitch, when a traditional taxi cab driver contracted by Uber entered the fare wrong into his meter.
Uber controls 77 per cent of the ride-hailing U.S. market, according to Forbes, and, until today, 100 per cent of the Toronto market.
More details to follow. Image 1 of the Lyft app being used from Verge.