Report: Uber and Lyft Becoming the Business Travel Options of Choice

The latest quarterly edition of Certify’s expense-management report found that, for the first time, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft made up more than half of all ground-transportation business expenses nationally.

When business travelers are on the road, their transportation option of choice isn’t a taxi or a rental car—it’s a ride-hailing service.

That’s according to a new report from Certify, an expense-management service that releases quarterly data tracking the receipts and expense reports of employees. In the third quarter of 2016, the firm found that of the roughly 10 million businesses in its system, more than half of all ground travel transactions were being taken up by a combination of Uber, at 48 percent, and Lyft, at 4 percent. Together, the two services represent more transactions among business travelers than taxis and rental cars combined.

“[I]t’s remarkable to see that ride hailing is now more frequently expensed by business travelers than taxi and car rental combined, and more popular than taxi at any time during the three years Certify has been reporting on this data,” Certify President and CEO Bob Neveu said in a blog post.

What’s fascinating is that, even while ride-hailing services are taking up more of the market, the cost of taking Uber, at least, is going down, according to VentureBeat. In the third quarter, Uber costs dropped 10 percent to $22.91, while the cost of taxis fell at a similar rate, to $35.91. However, this cost decline was not across the board: Lyft saw its average costs rise by 5 percent in the third quarter, but those costs—$21.80—remained below those of both Uber and taxis.

As Business Travel News notes, the most popular lcoation for ride-hailing services was San Francisco, with more than 90 percent of respondents using the services in the city. Cabs still have their supporters, however: In New York City, while 53.8 percent of reported transportation expenses went to Uber, 42.6 percent of travel expenses went to yellow cabs, a level similar to that of Chicago.

Certify doesn’t just track ride-hailing expenses: In its SpendSmart report, Certify also broke down companies where employees are most likely to purchase food (with Starbucks making up 4.82 percent of total expenses), expense their hotel (the most popular chain is Hampton Inn, with 9.44 percent of all expenses), rely on as their airline (American, at 20.23 percent of expenses, just barely beats out Delta, which had 20.21 percent), or rent a car (National Car Rental makes up 25.5 percent of all car rental expenses).

(Noel Tock/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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