Skip to main content

Ridesharing drives away with business travelers, leaving taxis and rental cars behind

uber settles driver background check case man driving in car the city ride share lyft getaround zipcar
It must be tough to be a taxi driver today, seeing your business threatened by ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. But it’s not just a threat. A new study by Certify has documented a steep decline in taxi rides in the usually lucrative business-travel market. Rental car companies are losing business traveler patronage as well, according to Venture Beat.

The shift in business travel usage patterns has been dramatic during the past two years, which Certify documented by analyzing more than 10 million travel receipts and expense reports. In the second quarter of 2014, taxis provided 73.70 percent of business rides, Uber 25.96 percent, and Lyft was barely on the scoreboard at 0.34 percent. Just two years later, in the second quarter of 2016, Uber led the pack with 72.53 percent, followed by taxis at 22.27 percent, and Lyft with the greatest rate of increase but still the lowest market share at 5.20 percent. The headline here is that taxi use by business travelers took a 51-percent market share hit in just two years.

Related Videos

Taxis also lost out to both Uber and Lyft in user ratings and cost per ride. The users from Certify’s study in the second quarter of 2016 rated Lyft highest at 4.80, Uber at 4.71, and taxis at 3.75. In the same two-year period, ride-hail costs decreased for both companies but increased for taxis. Specifically, taxi ride costs increased by 15 percent from 2014 to $39.80 per ride, while dropping 15.5 percent for Uber to $25.48 per ride, and 7.7 percent to $20.78 for a ride with Lyft. So if you look at the two ridesharing companies against taxis, user ratings are higher and costs are lower with ridesharing — certainly reason enough for the usage shifts.

Rental-car companies share some of the same pain felt by taxis, according to the study. Again, Certify studied business travel expense reports for ground transportation over a two-year period, from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2016. During that time period, rental car use dropped from 54.7 percent in 2014 to 37.3 percent in 2016. Taxi use dropped from 37.2 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2016. Uber and Lyft combined rose from the bottom position at 8.1 percent aggregate use in 2014 to the leading 48.7 percent in 2016.

If ever there was a clear indicator of market disruption, Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies have demonstrated clear and significant disruption of the taxi and rental-car industries in just two years.

Editors' Recommendations

If Uber and Lyft switch to self-driving cars, what about the drivers?
uber settles driver background check case man driving in car the city ride share lyft getaround zipcar

Uber and Lyft have tens of thousands of drivers in the U.S. alone. The two ridesharing companies have each been in the news recently for their investments in and work with automaker partners in developing self-driving technology. The focus on autonomous vehicles begs the question, "What about the drivers?" as reported by Silicon Beat.

Lyft and its investor partner General Motors are testing self-driving technology with specially equipped 2017 Chevy Bolts in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Read more
Uber and Lyft to tip Massachusetts taxi drivers a nickel per trip
uber settles driver background check case man driving in car the city ride share lyft getaround zipcar

Add to the list of Massachusetts' odd laws. The Codfish State already forbids tomatoes in clam chowder, tattooing and body piercing, dueling to the death on Boston Common on Sundays unless the Governor is present, and playing the fiddle in Boston at any time, according to Only in Your State. The latest judiciary jaw-dropper requires that ride-hail companies subsidize taxi companies, according to Reuters.

The new law, just inked by the Massachusetts governor, requires that Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing companies pay a 5-cent fee per ride to taxi companies. The taxi share is part of a 20-cent overall fee that also pays a nickel to a state transportation fund and 10 cents to cities and towns.

Read more
Uber’s Scheduled Rides allows users to reserve a car up to 30 days in advance
uber settles driver background check case man driving in car the city ride share lyft getaround zipcar

Uber could have called its new service Early Hailing or Hail Me Later, but instead Uber is calling its scheduled rides program, well, Scheduled Rides. In addition to the smartphone equivalent of standing on a curb, waving your arm, and hollering or whistling for a cab, you can now book a ride with Uber ahead of time, just as you might do with a traditional car service.

Lyft started a ride scheduling pilot test in San Francisco last month that was limited to Lyft employees. Uber's Scheduled Rides has launched in Seattle and it's initially for business customers only. It's also for Uber X, the most popular service, not Uber Black.

Read more