Lyft is the second-largest ride-hailing app by volume of users. They are headquartered in San Francisco, California and have decided to go bicoastal.
They are opening their first permanent New York office. The office located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood at 245 West 17th St., is 11,000 square feet and can hold over 80 employees. It will be home to an engineering team as well as a sales and marketing team
Before this expansion, Lyft was working with 30 employees in a temporary New York office, and they had an operations team in Long Island City.
Lyft has indicated that the desire to plant more permanent roots in NYC is due to their growing research and development into self-driving cars.
An unidentified spokesperson for the company was quoted as saying that "The diversity of New York's neighborhoods and urban layout makes it an ideal place for engineers to understand and strengthen Lyft's technology nationwide." They also went on to say that "If you can understand and build transportation in NYC, you can do it anywhere."
When pressed on whether New Yorkers should expect to see self-driving vehicles making their way through the city, Lyft would neither confirm nor deny whether those vehicles would be accompanying the engineers who they confirmed will be working on its self-driving car tech.
Lyft's foray into autonomous driving saw an early partnership develop with GM. GM's self-driving unit Cruise Automation announced in October that they will be testing their autonomous Chevy Bolts in New York City.