Ridesharing offers freebies in Lincoln, Omaha

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - State regulators will keep an eye on the ridesharing company Lyft as it offers free services in Lincoln and Omaha for the next two weeks.

The company announced Thursday that it was launching its service in 24 new U.S. markets.

By offering free rides, Lyft apparently has avoided immediate action by the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Earlier this week the commission sent a letter to Lyft and its competitor Uber, which also has indicated its intention to operate in Nebraska. The commission told both that they need the commission’s permission to offer services in Nebraska.

Commission transportation director Mark Breiner said Thursday that officials will continue to monitor the situation.

The two and other ridesharing services use smartphone applications to link motorists and people who would pay for rides.

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