In a sign of the growing battle between app-based transportation services, Lyft -- which lets consumers decide how much they want to pay for a ride -- is launching in the Providence market on Friday.

While Lyft bears a few strong similarities to Uber, which came to Providence last September, Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen says the company emphasizes an "in-person experience" and is about "building a community."

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission said it will consider a new minimum limousine charge, after four limousine companies sued over a $40 minimum charge.

The $40 minimum charge for a limousine ride was supposed to go into effect November 11th. But the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission agreed to suspend enforcement after four limousine companies sued.

Uber, the on-demand car service that lets users summon a ride via a smart phone app, is set to formally launch in Providence on September 12 (5:30 pm at Tazza, on Westminster Street).

As I recently tweeted in reporting the company's arrival in RI, Uber is a favorite of techies and its origin points to the creative power of the Internet: