Lyft expands to Toronto, moving beyond US for the first time

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Don’t expect to see a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV, but the standard Lyft experience is coming to Canada.

Since its inception, Lyft has kept its operations firmly within the borders of the US. But that’s about to change.

Lyft announced on Monday that it would expand its operations north of the border to Canada — specifically, Toronto. It will operate exactly as it does in the US: Riders can open Lyft’s app, request a ride, then take one to wherever they need to go.

Given Lyft’s staying focused on Toronto, it’s unclear whether or not you can go truly insane and order a ride to, say, Vancouver. If you do, it’ll probably cost you a fair number of Loonies.

Since Lyft relies on the public to give out rides, interested Toronto residents will need to apply on Lyft’s driver application site. While it’s unclear if any special requirements exist for Canadian drivers, in the US, drivers must be 21 and own either an iOS or Android phone. Potential drivers must also pass DMV and background checks, both of which are free and conducted online. Vehicles must have between five and eight seats and four doors.

While Lyft might be expanding its ride-hailing operations outside the US, it’s likely that the expansion won’t also send its self-driving cars over the border. In September, Lyft announced that it partnered with Drive.ai to bring self-driving cars to San Francisco as part of a public pilot program. The company also recently hinted that it may bring autonomous vehicles to New York.

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