The San Francisco company joins other Bay Area and Silicon Valley companies that have sought to tap engineering talent in the Seattle area.

Share story

Lyft, the San Francisco ride-hailing company, has joined rival Uber in establishing an engineering office in Seattle.

Lyft has hired six staffers in operations and software engineering roles in temporary office space on Seattle’s Western Avenue, the company said. Todd Kelsay, a former manager with Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, is running the office.

“We believe the right thing to do is have a local presence,” said Kelsay, who migrated from technology to logistics in his most recent job as director of transportation of the Mercer Island School District.

He expects to have about 20 employees in Seattle by the end of the year, not including the contract-worker drivers who populate Lyft’s network. Kelsay will oversee the operations employees. The nascent software engineering group, Lyft’s first outside of San Francisco, will report to the headquarters.

Lyft has operated in Seattle since 2013.

So has Uber, which in March announced it would build an engineering hub in Seattle. The company set a goal of hiring about 50 staffers for the office.

The Silicon Valley ride-app rivals join the ranks of dozens of technology companies, from Google to Twitter and Facebook, that operate engineering offices in Seattle in a bid to tap the region’s pool of skilled software workers.

Rex Tibbens, Lyft’s chief operating officer, joined the company in April from Amazon.com, where he had been leading the infrastructure rollout of the Prime Now one-hour delivery service.