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Lyft Tries to Sneak Ahead as Archrival Uber Faces Fallout and Backlash

by Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC / / Source: CNBC.com
The signature pink mustache of ride-booking company Lyft sits on the hood of a vehicle during a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Legislation signed earlier this year cleared up regulatory uncertainty and allowed for Lyft and other ride-booking services, like Uber, to resume operations in the state. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
The signature pink mustache of ride-booking company Lyft sits on the hood of a vehicle during a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Legislation signed earlier this year cleared up regulatory uncertainty and allowed for Lyft and other ride-booking services, like Uber, to resume operations in the state. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)Susan Montoya Bryan / AP

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Ride-hailing app Lyft on Thursday announced its biggest expansion yet, amid turmoil at rival Uber.

Lyft added more than 50 new cities in the U.S., including Topeka, Bismarck, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Columbus and Birmingham, the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post. That's on top of the 40 cities it added a month ago. In January, Lyft said it planned to add 100 cities this year, increasing its coverage to 300 cities across the country.

"Now, millions more people across the US have access to reliable, affordable transportation," Lyft said.

The expansion, centered on the South and Midwest, comes as the company's biggest competitor, Uber, is under fire.

Related: Uber Facing New Backlash After Sexual Harassment Claims

A former Uber employee's viral blog post alleging sexism and discrimination has unleashed a slew of anecdotes about the company's culture. That blog post came just weeks after a politically charged social media campaign encouraged people to delete Uber's app.

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