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The car-sharing service Lyft Inc. launches in Boston on Saturday as the latest start-up to bring its smartphone technology here to connect riders and drivers outside the bounds of the traditional taxicab system.
Boston is the first East Coast city for Lyft, and the service arrives as a growing number of other companies such as Uber, SideCar, and Hailo are already offering technologies for consumers to find rides from fellow commuters and professional drivers such as cabbies and livery services.
Their arrival has roiled the local cab industry and left regulators here and across the country unsure of exactly how to treat these emerging transportation companies.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office would not comment on whether Lyft is an acceptable transportation service.