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Lyft mulling a Boise launch to compete with Uber

Lyft provides its drivers with the pink “Glowstache,” making cars easy to identify when they approach passengers requesting rides through the Lyft smartphone app.
Lyft provides its drivers with the pink “Glowstache,” making cars easy to identify when they approach passengers requesting rides through the Lyft smartphone app.

Lyft, an app-based rideshare service similar to Uber, is soliciting drivers in the Treasure Valley.

Lyft has told drivers it plans to launch in the coming weeks. However, Lyft spokeswoman Mary Caroline Pruitt told the Statesman the company was not ready to announce its plans.

“We’ve seen exploring driver interest in the area, and although we’re not sharing any launch plans at this time, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to bring Lyft to Boise sometime in the near future,” Pruitt said.

Ross Jones, a Nampa retiree and Uber driver, said he’s exchanging text messages with a Lyft contact. Jones forwarded one of the texts sent by the Lyft contact to the Statesman, reading: “We should be launching in a few weeks once we get enough drivers!”

Jones, 72, said he drives his van for UberXL, the Uber service for large vehicles. He doesn’t rely on driving as his primary source of income, and said he all but quit driving for Uber after the company cut its rates and took a larger chunk of driver earnings.

In April, the Statesman reported that drivers who relied on Uber earnings to pay their bills were being forced to find other work because of reduced earnings.

Lyft allows tips, they pay the drivers a little more. I think that it would be good for the economy here to have competition.

Nampa Uber driver Ross Jones

Jones said he and other drivers would welcome the arrival of Lyft, which, unlike Uber, gives passengers a way to leave a tip on the app.

“People love Uber,” Jones said. “They will love Lyft when they get used to it.”

Lyft already operates in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. Uber operates here, although Boise no longer appears on Uber’s list of cities.

Eagle resident John Margarit explains what he loves about driving for Uber and why Uber's fare reduction resulted in him cutting his hours on the road.

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