Ride-sharing app Lyft is well-known for the hot pink mustaches affixed to its drivers' bumpers, but most Americans haven't seen the mustachioed cars cruising around their own towns yet. That could change today. Lyft is expanding service to 24 cities in the next 24 hours — its biggest launch ever.
Lyft has built a solid base in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and 33 other cities around the country. Now, the company is filling in the holes. Albuquerque: You're getting Lyft. North Jersey: So are you. Omaha, Kansas City, Fresno, Toledo, Rochester, Raleigh Durham, Spokane, and a slew of other cities will see Lyfts around town starting Thursday. Find the full list here. The app is now available in 60 cities nationwide.
Lyft is celebrating the launching with Lyftapalooza, a two-week promotional blitz where riders in each new city will get free rides and a curated list of fun stuff to do at local hot spots — presumably, you'll take a free Lyft to one of the events, like an open mic night at Albuquerque's Winning Coffee Co. or Chilean wine-tasting at the city's Slate Street Café.
The company recently slashed prices by 20 percent for spring, and those cuts are now getting deeper. Lyft is dropping prices by an additional 10 percent, making it the cheapest ride in many cities. It's unclear how long those low rates will stick around, but with competing apps like Uber and Sidecar also experimenting with price drops — and in Sidecar's case, a Marketplace where drivers set their own rates to compete for business — it's beginning to look like a race to the bottom.
Uber has one advantage: Ubiquity. The company is now available in 100 cities worldwide, a milestone it marked with a Beijing launch on Wednesday. Sidecar is only available in eight metro areas. Lyft is squarely in the middle, with a commitment to community it demonstrated with last week's Lyft for Good launch. With Lyftapalooza and free rides in new cities, Lyft is clearly positioning itself as the feel-good ride-sharing company.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.