Rideshare wars: Lyft takes on Uber in Toronto in first battle outside of U.S.

It’s been a long time coming, but Lyft is finally ready to take its ridesharing service beyond the United States.

The company has chosen the Canadian city of Toronto as its debut market outside of the U.S. as part of ongoing efforts to compete with Uber, its main rival in the ridesharing space.

It will start offering rides in the city from December, though it’s yet to release details on passenger rates and driver fees.

“We’ve been looking forward to taking our brand of ridesharing international for some time, and we’re super pumped to share this with our close friends up north,” Lyft said in a blog post announcing its decision to roll into Canada. It added that its service will be around “to help ring in the holidays, so if you’re in Toronto, just tap to request — ’cause for the first time in TO, we’ve got your ride.”

Lyft’s arrival in Toronto comes more than five years after Uber set up shop there. Uber currently has around 50,000 drivers working the streets of the Canadian city, so Lyft certainly has its work cut out if it’s to make an impact there.

The ridesharing company famous for its now-discarded furry pink mustache will offer its existing services to riders, including regular cars for as many as four passengers, and its Plus service for up to six people. Its Premier service offers high-end cars, while Lux lets you ride in “the most luxurious makes and models with luxury black cars,” according to Lyft’s website. Finally, Lyft Lux SUV is a premium black SUV service with enough space for up to six passengers.

Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer told the Toronto Star he believes the city shares “the values that we have at Lyft – focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect, and promoting both inclusion and diversity.”

If Lyft’s first journey out of the U.S. works out well, it could be the beginning of a major expansion as it seeks to grab a chunk of the ridesharing market from Uber. Several reports in recent months have suggested Lyft has already been picking up some business at the expense of its rival, partly due to missteps by Uber that turned some riders off its service. Uber has also been dealing with the loss of its CEO, several company scandals, and various lawsuits targeting its business.

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