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Lyft Goes Black Car

Lyft is introducing luxury black cars in five major cities this week in an attempt to compete for Uber’s high-end clientele.

According to Bloomberg Technology, the new offerings, called Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV, will launch in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and San Jose before expanding to 20 cities this summer.

Customers will be able to book a Tesla, BMW, Rolls-Royce or another premium ride, which are flashier than the cars offered on the company’s existing high-end service, Premier, which will still be offered.

“This an evolution of Lyft — as our passengers and driver community request more optionality, we’ve really listened,” said David Baga, the company’s chief business officer. “So they can always choose Lyft.”

Lyft and Uber have each taken turns emulating each other’s services in order to compete. While Uber started as a black car and cab service, once Lyft began allowing anyone to drive riders in their own cars without a taxi or for-hire license, Uber was quick to copy. Then when Uber announced a carpooling option in August 2014, Lyft launched its own version the next day.

One thing Lyft provides that Uber has been resistant to try is tipping within the app. The option will be extended to customers of Lux, and drivers are supportive of the feature. “We have drivers that own high-end, luxury vehicles, and they definitely want to maximize their earnings potential,” Baga said.

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