We’ve been hearing rumors for a while, but now there’s data to back up what many have been saying: Uber and Lyft are being used more than taxis for business travel.
According to a report by Certify, a travel expense management software company, at the end of the third quarter of last year, ride-hailing services accounted for more than half of all business travel receipts in the ground transportation category.
In its analysis of 10 million receipts, Uber was clearly the favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. Both Uber and Lyft provide a simplified, streamlined experience: reservations can be made online; an estimate of the cost is provided before a reservation is secured; users can track the car’s arrival; cars are clean, newer models; and, their drivers are friendly and knowledgeable about their city. No money changes hands, and detailed receipts of the time, date, route, and credit card used are emailed, avoiding fraud by either the user or the driver.
“We continue to see interest in the ride-sharing economy,” Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify, told USA Today. “Small to medium businesses were the early adopters. Now, more Fortune 500 companies are adding them to approved vendor lists.”
Some business travel operators are more skeptical about using ride-sharing services because of the surge pricing, different prices for choosing different sizes of vehicles, and the option some offer, for a lesser fare, of picking up of other passengers along the way to your destination. Taxis provide fixed rate, regardless of the vehicle or the route. Analyzing the ride-sharing options in order to create a policy for their use is something businesses are grappling with because it’s not as simple as hiring a taxi.
As cities determine what regulations ride-sharing services will have to abide by, both companies may plateau, due to restricted availability, say, at airports. But as long as travelers continue to utilize the service, those regulations may not do much to deter growth.
Photo credit: Henning 48 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)