Ride-Sharing App Lyft Launches in San Antonio

Photo courtesy of Lyft

Photo courtesy of Lyft

Lyft, the ride sharing app, launched Friday in San Antonio, its third city in the Texas market.

Lyft is also available in Dallas and Houston. The company held a party earlier this week at the Hotel Havana downtown to celebrate its service in the San Antonio area.

“San Antonio has been a longtime supporter of tech and innovation, and has a vibrant local culture and more than 120,000 college students,” said Katie Dally, Lyft spokeswoman. “It’s also been a transportation innovator, being Texas’ first city to have a B-cycle bike share system. Lyft fills in the gaps to enable residents to get around safely, reliably and affordably without always using their own cars.”

Lyft is a ride-sharing service available through a free app on an iPhone or Android smartphone. Customers simply request a ride using the app with a tap of a button and a driver arrives within minutes to provide a ride.

Lyft has been advertising on Indeed.com and Craigslist in San Antonio for drivers, touting that they can make as much as $500 in a weekend. All of Lyft’s community drivers are background checked and interviewed before being hired by the company to provide rides.

In addition to San Antonio, Lyft is available in 26 cities nationwide.

It’s an alternative to a taxi cab ride and that doesn’t sit well with the established transportation industry in some cities. Ride sharing services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have met with opposition in Austin. They are currently not available there. An early ride-sharing pioneering startup, Heyride launched there more than a year ago and was served by a cease and desist order by the city. Sidecar later acquired Heyride. Even during SXSW Interactive, services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar could not provide rides or could only provide rides to festival attendees under restrictions.

Initially, the Lfyt rides in San Antonio will be operating under the company’s Pioneer program, which offers free rides to all new users for their first two weeks. After that, the Lyft rides are calculated based on time and miles. It charges a minimum $5 per ride.

The company, based in San Francisco, has 180 employees and it was founded in 2007 and has raised $82.5 million to date, according to its Crunchbase profile.

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