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Trump-fueled backlash puts the brakes on Uber

Recent political events may have provided an opening for Uber's competitors to take a bite out of the ride-sharing service's dominance in New York. During demonstrations at JFK Airport two weeks ago over President Donald Trump's travel ban, Uber's response was regarded by some to be more in league with the White House than with the protesters, and a #DeleteUber campaign went viral. In the aftermath, more than 200,000 customers shut down their accounts, The New York Times reported. That led to a related bump in downloads for Lyft and two other apps, Via and Juno.

By Jan. 30, two days after the anti-Uber campaign began, Lyft had risen to No. 4 on the iPhone free apps chart, from 47th the previous week, while Uber fell to 13th place from 4th, according to research firm Sensor Tower.

"This is a great opportunity for Lyft, particularly in this industry, where it's not really clear that Uber's services are much different from the others,'" said Michael Barnett, a professor of management at Rutgers Business School. "Lyft has gotten customers to try their app who probably wouldn't have bothered to switch if it wasn't for this."

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