Lyft Now Available Across 40 States
Lyft has expanded its ride-hailing service into 160 more cities, including hard-to-reach rural areas, bringing its total to about 350 served. The company now has statewide coverage in 40 states. The company said it will even offer rides in the most rural expanses of Alaska and the far reaches of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Lyft now has at least some coverage in all 50 states.
Jaime Raczka, the company’s regional director of new markets, said in a statement, “Since Lyft’s founding in 2012, our goal has always been to create better transportation, decrease the amount of cars and traffic on the road, and bring safe and affordable rides to the entire country. Through this expansion, we are one step closer to delivering on that mission.” To celebrate, Lyft is offering new passengers $5 off their first ride with the code LYFTLOVE17.
Until now, using a smartphone to summon a ride was limited to larger metropolitan areas with more potential riders. In January, Lyft stated that its goal for the year was to increase its reach from 55 percent of the country to 72 percent. Lyft has been recruiting new drivers for months in smaller towns that weren’t previously served. The company now says it has about 700,000 drivers nationwide.
Raczka said the initiative will allow the company to better compete with its rivals in terms of coverage area and the number of people with access to its platform. Lyft’s share of the U.S. ride-hailing market grew from 12 percent to just over 30 percent in the past two years, according to Lyft’s internal metrics. Through June, Lyft more than doubled its ridership from the first six months of last year and passed 2016’s full-year ride total of 162.5 million.
Lyft has spent five years as the fun-loving, pink-mustached underdog of ride hailing. Uber controls about 70 percent of the U.S. ride-hailing market and still has more drivers than Lyft in most major U.S. cities. Lyft co-founder Logan Green said, “We’ve always been the underdog in the race against Uber. We’ve taken a lot of ground. We still are.” Uber only has near-statewide coverage in 13 states.
Lyft has raised nearly $2.6 billion in capital since its inception. In recent months, the company has upgraded its smartphone app and stepped up its marketing efforts to attract more riders. Currently, the company only operates in the U.S. However, Green said in an interview that Lyft will go international “in the not-to-distant future.”