Lyft's Mike Msserman and Raj Kapoor
Another American eHailing app Lyft, Uber’s biggest rival, is eyeing the London market. Currently, they are holding talks with Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall officials, ongoing for the past year, according to a report in the Telegraph, citing freedom of information records.
While the talks don’t actually state Lyft is getting into the U.K. market, they do show it has an interest in that market and in the TfL’s transport policy.
News of the interest came to light j after TfL declined to renew Uber’s licence, dealing the leading ridesharing company a massive blow to the minicab firms credibility.
If Uber’s appeal fails, it will no longer be able to operate in the TfL area, paving the way for a competitor to pilfer its market share.
According to Fred Jones (see video below), Uber has 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in London, but like everything else about Uber, their numbers appear to be fake and don't add up.
The talks focused on the startup’s business model and operations, as well as the London mayor’s new transport strategy for the city.
Lyft met with TfL in London last December and at that the meeting were Helen Chapman, who is in charge of TfL’s taxi and private hire department, Peter Blake (now gone) TfL’s director of service operations for surface transport, and three unnamed representatives of the Greater London Authority.
Lyft isn’t registered as a company in the UK, nor does it have a private hire licence.
A Private Hire operator’s licence is necessary to operate in London, and it should be noted Lyft’s entrance into the London market could face opposition from other PH operators as well as taxi representative groups, as well as the lawmakers.
Those constituents of London may well be concerned that another new service could add massively to the congestion in London.
Lyft have declined to comment on the report, but given Uber’s current troubles, Lyft could soon be emboldened to move forward with a push into London.