Lyft launches in 54 new cities as people #DeleteUber

Lyft expanded to 54 new cities Thursday, its largest launch yet, as rival Uber deals with another big controversy.

The expansion by Lyft is part of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup’s goal to expand to 100 new cities by the end of 2017. It’s only February, but the company is now just six cities shy of that goal.

The cities Lyft added include many in the Midwest, such as Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Fargo, North Dakota; and Des Moines, Iowa. It also added several cities in Florida and Georgia.

“We look forward to continuing this rapid momentum,” said Jaime Raczka, head of Early Stage Markets and Expansion, in a news release.

Lyft’s moves come amid tough times for its much bigger competitor — think valuations of $5.5 billion vs. $68 billion — fellow S.F. startup Uber.

The Twitter hashtag #DeleteUber is getting a workout, most recently over allegations of a manager’s sexual harassment of a former female engineer at the company. Susan Fowler Rigetti over the weekend published a blog post alleging that the company protected a male manager who propositioned her for sex and engaged in inappropriate behavior with other women. Now comes a New York Times report that Uber’s culture includes managers groping and threatening employees.

Before these latest controversies, Uber had been targeted with the #DeleteUber hashtag over CEO Travis Kalanick’s participation on Donald Trump’s business advisory council and the company’s response to a taxi-driver action during early protests over the president’s immigration ban. Kalanick quit Trump’s council earlier this month.

As part of its expansion, Lyft is offering $5 discounts to new users. Lyft says it is now available in more than 300 cities worldwide.

 

Photo: A ride in a Lyft. (Courtesy Lyft)

 

 

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