In an attempt to reach a wider riderbase and to compete with Uber, Lyft has revealed its latest expansion drive under which it will be offering service to passengers in every corner of 32 US states, including hard-to-reach rural areas.
This will effectively boost the number of states with full Lyft coverage to 40. Uber has majority control over the US ride-hailing market with 70 per cent share and claims that it only has statewide covering in 13 states of the US – much less than Lyft. Why? Well Uber is skeptical that any company could provide timely service in all areas within a state’s boundaries.
Lyft claims to provide statewide service in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware and Hawaii.
Uber says is has close to statewide coverage is in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
Lyft’s latest expansion move is a bold one and many believe it to be a gamble geared towards gaining new markets out of even the most rural areas that have ride-hailing needs but no consistent service. Until now, using a smartphone to summon a ride mainly was reserved for larger metropolitan areas with a lot of people and more potential riders.
As of Thursday it added Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Lyft believes that their expansion into rural areas will enable the company to gain an edge over rivals. Lyft says that with the extension of its service now 94 percent of the to US population could get Lyft service. To pull off the expansion, Lyft has been recruiting new drivers for months, many in smaller towns that weren’t previously served. The company wouldn’t say how many drivers it has added, only that it has about 700,000 nationwide.