Uber’s Global Expansion
Uber added seven global cities to its roster in the first half of December. Some new cities represent official launches of full-scale service, while others are in the test phase, called “secret Uber.” Ride availability is low during testing, but Uber expands to full service if the test phase is successful. Secret Ubers arrived in Medellín, Colombia on December 12 and in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia on December 9. (New users in Sofia could get two free trips worth up to 30 BGNeach.) In addition, the company began testing UberBLACK, its premium service, in the Bahraini cities of Manama, Muharraq, Seef, and Saar on December 15. In these markets, Uber is offering free rides worth up to SAR 80 through January 31, 2015.
Uber service officially launched in Hanoi, Vietnam on December 4 and in Monterrey, Mexico on December 12. With the official launch in Hanoi, Uber expanded service to nearly a dozen areas in Vietnam, including Tay Ho, Hoan Kiem, and Ba Dinh. In Monterrey, Uber formalized its fares, with a minimum base fare of $70 MXN, the equivalent of about US$5. Uber offered new users there a free ride worth up to $200 MXN.
Uber also began testing in Tianjin, China on December 10. “People’s Uber,” as the service is called there, is a pilot, non-profit ridesharing service that encourages carpooling to help alleviate the city’s pollution and traffic-congestion problems. The drivers are volunteers. New users could sign up for 50 yuan in free ride credits. (For related reading, see Winners and Losers in the Sharing Economy.)
Uber and Lyft in Florida
Lyft brought service to Orlando on August 1 and offered all new users two weeks of free rides. Meanwhile, Uber expanded UberX, the company’s lowest-priced ride option, to cities across Florida on December 4. It offered new customers there five free rides worth up to $20 each for a week and a half. With Uber available in dozen of cities from Daytona Beach to Fort Myers to Panama City to Key West, the company says more than 82 percent of Floridians can now access its service.
Lyft and Uber at Airports
In September, Nashville International Airport authorized a pick-up zone for ridesharing, making it easier for Lyft and Uber to operate there. In October, San Francisco International Airport decided to formally allow Lyft and Uber to operate at all terminals. In November, Lyft signed a long-term agreement with Denver International Airport to become an authorized ridesharing service providing transportation to and from the airport. UberX got permission to operate at Denver’s main terminal in early December, while UberBLACK had already been operating there as a commercial transportation service. In addition, Lyft recently secured permission to operate at Austin International Airport.
Uber and Lyft Expansions: Locations and Services
By Amy Fontinelle | January 07, 2015
Uber currently operates in four times as many cities worldwide as Lyft and is expanding rapidly. In late April 2014, it celebrated a milestone of serving 100 cities; less than eight months later, it serves about 250. Meanwhile, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer told CNBC that his company is looking to add 100 new cities worldwide in 2015, which could make it more competitive with Uber. Here is a look at the cities where these two businesses have been expanding service recently and the benefits of these services.