Lyft, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company that already operates in 66 U.S. cities was holding off on its NYC launch until the “time was right,” according to company spokesperson Erin Simpson.
The San Francisco-based ride-sharing company that connects passengers with available drivers through a mobile app is set to launch in New York for the first time on Friday. But having seen that its mobile app was downloaded by 75,000 people in New York City, that time has apparently come.
Two boroughs for now
With the introduction of Lyft to Brooklyn and Queens, it will be the company’s largest launch. Generally speaking, Lyft launches in new cities with around 50 drivers, Lyft’s expansion to New York will see the company beginning with 500 drivers between the two boroughs. This partial launch was a strategy the company used when it launched in both Dallas and Los Angeles.
Lyft, like its competitor Uber, has seen constant legal battles as it launches around the world. Both companies received cease-and-desist letters from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently, while Uber was only made legal in London last week. Uber drivers were forced to meet certain regulations by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) when it launched in New York while Lyft has yet to meet those requirements. Lyft’s expected Manhattan expansion may face hurdles as a result.
Comments from Lyft’s co-founder
Moving into New York is “something we wanted to do for a long time, especially in the outer boroughs, building into a vision of creating a personal transit network at the lowest possible cost,” said Lyft co-founder John Zimmer in a recent phone interview with Bloomberg.
Lyft seems determine to challenge Uber which was valued at $17 billion last month in a new financing round, making it worth more than public companies such as Hertz Global Holdings Inc. in the transportation industry.
The official New York launch will come at 7PM on Friday giving potential ride-sharers more than enough time to download the app to their preferred smartphone operating system.