• Uber skids, Lyft speeds up to broaden market share

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    SAN FRANCISCO: As Uber gets dented by controversies, on-demand ride rival Lyft is accelerating expansion and out to pick up converts by appearing a friendlier, more sympathic alternative.

    US-based Lyft lets people summon rides using smartphone apps as does Uber, but has cultivated a reputation as a more socially responsible and driver-friendly version of the service.

    Lyft even mocked Uber in an advertising campaign late last year, depicting leaders of an imaginary “RideCorp” firm that appeared to be a reference to its market-leading competitor.

    The supposed executives sat in a black-walled conference room discussing how to defeat Lyft. Each short video clip focused on undermining what Lyft touts as advantages, such as extensiveness driver background checks and letting passengers tip drivers (something Uber has firmly opposed).

    Lyft also took a stand in January against US President Donald Trump’s first anti-immigration executive order, announcing a million-dollar donation to the American Civil Liberties Union to help fund legal opposition.

    Meanwhile, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick was on track to be part of a Trump business advisory group and a movement grew to dump the ride-sharing service because of his connection to the administration.

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