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Article updated: 2/4/2013 7:32 AM

Ride-hailing apps offer new way to get around town

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Lyft driver Nancy Tcheou uses her phone to accept a ride from a passenger in San Francisco. Internet-enabled ridesharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar are expanding rapidly in San Francisco, New York and other U.S. cities, billing themselves as a high-tech, low-cost alternative to cabs.

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When Hesky Kutscher needed to get across town, he didn't call a taxi. He tapped a smartphone app called Lyft, which allows users to request car rides. Minutes later, a black hatchback with a big fluffy, pink mustache on its grille pulled up. Kutscher hopped in the front seat and gave the driver a fist bump. Then they cruised over the hilly streets of San Francisco, chatting like neighbors until he was dropped off near Union Square.
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