Lyft Car-Sharing Service Expands to 24 New Cities

Apr 24, 2014 04:07 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

Lyft, an app-based driving service, is bringing its signature pink-mustached cars to 24 more U.S. markets, making it available in 60 cities altogether.

The expansion comes soon after Lyft's competitor Uber went international, launching in Beijing earlier this week, according to The Associated Press. Uber is established in 100 cities worldwide.

Based in San Francisco, Lyft is launching in smaller markets for the expansion, including Fresno, Calif.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Lyft is looking to become international as well and plans to use some of a $250 million financing round to expand overseas, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The ride-sharing service will be free in the 24 new cities for the first two weeks, Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer told Bloomberg in an interview.

Lyft, which launched about two years ago, charges a set cost per mile and per minute. To promote the service, the company started offering a 20 percent discount two weeks ago and has since added another 10 percent price cut.

The deal will run at least through June, and according to Zimmer, Lyft's typical pricing can be as much as 20 percent lower than the average ride with Uber.

The promotional discount, which could be extended past June, has boosted Lyft's user base with "double-digit percentage growth," Zimmer told Bloomberg.

Uber, which offers both regular cars for everyday rides and high-end limousine and luxury car services, has a valuation of $3.5 billion after a $258 million round of funding in August.  

Company spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian declined to comment to Blooomberg on Lyft's lower pricing.

"The question of 'can Uber be everywhere?' has been answered and now we're focused on expanding within those 100 cities and to the next 100," she said in a statement by email.

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