Uber strongly denies Lyft’s claims. It is also not known if Uber knew about this on an official level. In an emailed statement to news outlets, Erin Simpson, Lyft’s director of communications, described the alleged behavior of callers apparently linked to Uber as “unfortunate” because it “wastes a driver’s time and impacts the next passenger waiting for that driver.” The allegation comes after Lyft opened shop in New York City — an Uber stronghold — last month, and follows on the news that both companies will offer a discounted option that allows passengers to carpool with other riders headed in the same direction. Uber told Business Insider that Lyft’s accusations were “patently false” and said those making the calls were regular passengers.
Of the two San Francisco–based firms, Uber is the current heavyweight. Uber is valued at $17 billion vs. Lyft’s supposed $950 million. And while Lyft offers its services in nearly 70 U.S. cities, Uber operates across more than 90 U.S. cities and more than 40 countries.