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Lyft adds 24 mid-size cities, gives 10% price cut in all markets

The ride-sharing service Lyft launched in 24 more cities Thursday, growing its total presence to 60 cities across the U.S. The company also cut the price of fares by 10% in all markets as it seeks to continue increasing ridership.

Thursday's announcement is easily the company's most aggressive expansion so far, and for the next two weeks, users in the new cities will be able to take rides with Lyft for free.

The bulk of the new areas added Thursday were mid-size cities around the country.

"As we’ve grown, we have recognized a need for reliable transportation options everywhere, in cities of all sizes, regardless of the level of car ownership," Lyft said in a blog Thursday. "From Albuquerque to Newark and beyond, these cities have strong community roots and local hometown pride that make them all great fits for Lyft."

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Among those included in the expansion are Albuquerque, Buffalo, N.Y.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Memphis, Oklahoma City and San Bernardino. The company also launched in Salt Lake City and St. Louis this month.

"This domestic expansion strategy makes us the most reliable and available rides platform in the U.S.," a Lyft spokeswoman told The Times. 

The San Francisco start-up has had a busy couple of weeks. It announced that it had raised $250 million in funding at the start of April, and shortly after, it cut prices by as much as 20% in all it cities. Prices in Los Angeles have dropped by 28% since the start of April.

So that drivers' earnings won't be affected by the lower fares, Lyft stopped taking its usual 20% commission after the first round of price cuts this month. It said it will give drivers an additional bonus so they won't be affected by Thursday's 10% decrease.

Lyft has said that these prices are temporary but has not said when they will go back up again.

The company also said that it plans to begin expanding internationally "in the next few months."

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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