Lyft Staffing Up In Seattle And Los Angeles As It Looks To Expand Its Ride-Sharing Service Beyond SF

Lyft, the local on-demand ride-sharing service operated by the startup Zimride, is apparently not letting recent regulatory hurdles cramp its style.

Lyft, which launched its service allowing individual car-owners to provide local transportation services to their peers in exchange for a suggested donation in San Francisco this past summer, is now actively recruiting staff in new cities including Seattle and Los Angeles as part of a planned geographic expansion in the new year.

We’ve been hearing buzz about the planned growth for a little while now, but it was more solidified in a year-end email the company sent to users this morning that included job listings for positions in the new cities, which read:

“It has been an incredible year. Riding together, you’ve found new friends, music, and creative collaborators while exploring every corner of this great city. Thank you for building a passionate community with us in San Francisco!

In 2013, we’re expanding our horizons, bringing the social transportation revolution to cities across the country. That’s where you (or any of your friends) come in – join our team and help us take Lyft to new heights!”

The email goes on to list the following job opening: “City General Manager (Seattle, LA and multiple other cities)”.

I reached out to Lyft co-founder and Zimride COO John Zimmer this morning, and he said that while the hiring push is beginning now, the actual product expansion will be at a slower pace. “We’re getting ready for expansion in 2013. Hiring great people takes the longest, so we’re excited to find people in all major cities, but won’t be rolling out [Lyft itself to] more than one [new city] in January.” He confirmed that Los Angeles and Seattle were both in “the top ten” cities into which Lyft is planning a near-term expansion, but declined to provide more details on the locations or schedule.

San Francisco is a famously small city in terms of square mileage, and it also has a relatively large proportion of open-minded early adopter types that often welcome things such as a new pink mustachioed mode of transportation with open arms. So it will be very interesting to see how services such as Lyft can grow beyond their hometowns and become national businesses. It now seems that we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.