Lyft has arrived in Tacoma.
The San Francisco-based ride-share company announced Friday that it now offers rides in Lakewood and Tacoma, points north to Seattle and Shoreline, and north along the west of Puget Sound to Poulsbo.
Drivers for Lyft and competitors Uber and Sidecar use their own cars and find riders through a smartphone app. Riders add credit card information to the app to pay their fares. The service competes with traditional taxi cabs.
“We have been seeing people asking about Lyft in these areas and thought since people are traveling in these cities it makes sense to expand the coverage area,” said Paige Thelen, a spokesperson for Lyft.
Tacoma City Council members reached earlier this week expressed both enthusiasm and caution about news that ride-share companies could be moving to the city. Taxi drivers are concerned about competing for limited riders.
Attorney Erik Bjornson said he could have been the first Lyft fare in Tacoma. He used the service Friday morning, riding in a black BMW driven by a man with a chauffeur license.
Earlier this week, Uber, another ride-share company, said on Twitter that it was exploring a move to Tacoma. A spokesman for Uber would not say whether the company will begin operations in Tacoma.
Officials at the city's tax and licensing department say they have not heard from any ride-share companies. The city of Tacoma has licensed about 115 taxi cab drivers, which include those serving Pierce County.