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Uber expands ridesharing service to South Bay, Pasadena, S.F. Valley

Uber is now available in the San Fernando Valley, South Bay and Pasadena, making greater Los Angeles its largest geographical area of coverage.

The San Francisco-based ridesharing company began offering service in the new areas Wednesday. It plans to officially announce the expansion Thursday.

Using Uber's app on their smartphones, ride-needy users can connect with drivers who can offer a ride in their own cars. Once the ride is finished, users also use the app to pay.

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For the past year and a half, users could take rides starting from Central Los Angeles out to those new coverage areas, but getting a ride starting from those locations was more difficult. The service was "patchy," said William Barnes, Uber L.A. general manager.

"We were focused on providing the best service possible in central L.A., but we've seen such demand from the Valley, Pasadena and South Bay that it just made sense to start serving that need," Barnes said.

Uber's expansion comes shortly after the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision that should green-light the way for ridesharing services in the state. New Mayor Eric Garcetti has also endorsed Uber and its peers.

Uber said it is celebrating the expansion by giving Los Angeles users one free ride in the area worth up to $25. Users must simply input the code "LAExpansion" into the Uber app before the ride. The promotional giveaway expires Wednesday.

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