Uber competitor Lyft confirms Ottawa expansion plans


More competition is coming to Ottawa’s ride-hailing market as San Francisco-based Lyft prepares to battle Uber and the city’s established taxi industry for passengers in the nation’s capital.

Lyft works like Uber: Users download an app to their mobile phone, enter a payment method such as a credit card and then use the app to request a ride from a nearby driver.

In announcing its expansion Monday, Lyft did not say when it would officially start operating in Ottawa. Instead, its focus for the moment is on recruiting drivers.

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It’s reportedly common for drivers to work for both competing services in markets where both Uber and Lyft operate. While some drivers south of the border previously said they preferred driving for Lyft, others in Toronto – where Lyft started to operate late last year – say they like working for both companies equally, according to The Toronto Sun. However, the report noted that Lyft is offering new drivers financial incentives, particularly during their first month.

Locally, some Ottawa residents said they’re looking forward to the additional competition:

One of the first indications that Lyft was coming to Ottawa came in November, when local bylaw officials confirmed that Lyft had expressed interest in obtaining an operating licence.

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