Lyft got a comparatively late start as a ride-sharing company in Canada but now plans to expand across the country after quickly closing the gap between itself and Uber. That's according to recently reported statements from the company's managing director for Canada, Aaron Zifkin. Specifically, Zifkin points to Lyft's rapid growth within the regions where it already operates in the country. Lyft managed to hire as many as 10,000 new drivers within just five months in Toronto, whereas its primary rival Uber has only managed 30,000 within a span of years. Lyft hopes to capitalize on that growth but with consideration for the troubles Uber has faced in some regions, success is by no means guaranteed. Uber has faced a multiplicity of problems in both Quebec and British Columbia, stemming from problems with authorities and existing taxi-based services. That doesn't necessarily rule out Lyft's opportunities since it has a nearly spotless record by comparison to Uber's many scandals over the years.
With that said, and as with other regions outside of Canada, Lyft will have its work cut out for it. Despite Uber's troubles, it likely still has a massive lead beyond just the number of drivers it has. Of its reported 1.5 million rides provided every month in Canada, around 830,000 of those are in Toronto. Lyft hasn't provided any figures to rival those yet and has arguably made most of its gains via promotions. More specifically, it has put forward substantial resources to gain brand-recognition with major city-wide events, such as the Toronto Marathon and the Pride Parade. Beyond that, it has taken some losses through large driver bonuses, referral awards, and discount codes for potential customers.
Trailing behind Uber hasn't dampened the company's spirits, though. Zifkin believes the company can recreate its success in the U.S. by continuing investments. South of the Canadian border, Lyft has claimed to have captured more than half of the industry's business in some areas where it operates. A significant portion of that investment will undoubtedly involve courting business travelers to some of the countries bigger cities. That's based on some estimates which put Lyft's figures for market share in that niche of the ride-sharing market at around 19-percent. Other parts of that will involve continued efforts to make gains in areas where Uber has had less success.