Sharing economy firms Uber and Lyft have overtaken both taxi and car rental as the most popular ground transportation providers for business travellers, a new report has found.

The analysis of more than 9 million US business traveller receipts and expenses showed an increase of 4 per cent in “ride-hailing” transactions over the fourth quarter of 2015.

Now accounting for 46 per cent of the total ground transportation category, ride-hailing receipts tracked in Q1 2016 came exclusively from  providers Uber and Lyft.

The data came from expense management provider Certify’s latest ‘Spend Smart’ report, which tracks spending across major categories such as meals, airlines, lodging and car rental.

The report showed that in Q1 2014, ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft accounted for 8 per cent of ground transport spend, compared to 46 per just two years later.

Certify CEO Robert Neveu said Uber and Lyft’s “continued success” is driven by three factors: cost, convenience and customer satisfaction.

“These ride-hailing services have perfected a model that allows employees to choose the kind of experience they want when travelling for business while also saving the company a great deal of money in the process,” said Neveu.

Max Crowley, lead of Uber for Business, said business travel is one of its “fastest-growing segments” and the company will continue to invest to further drive this growth.

“Business travellers rely heavily on their smartphones and gravitate towards companies and apps that remove friction from their daily lives,” said Crowley.

 

Q1 (2014)

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1 (2015)

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1 (2016)

Taxi

37%

36%

31%

30%

25%

24%

22%

20%

14%

Car rental

55%

51%

52%

48%

50%

45%

44%

38%

40%

Ride-hailing

8%

13%

17%

22%

25%

31%

34%

42%

46%

Table shows percentage of ground transport spend per sector – (ride-hailing = firms such as Uber and Lyft).

Certify predicts that Lyft will become “a bigger player in the business travel market” this year. It added: “Fuelling some of the company’s growth and potential, Lyft closed a $1 billion round of investment at the end of 2015 including $500 million from General Motors (GM) that will no doubt prepare the company for tougher competition in the year ahead.

“One way GM and Lyft plan to take on Uber is by creating a number of short-term car rental hubs across the U.S. that will allow people who do not own a car to pick one up and in that moment become an income-earning driver it for Lyft.”

Lyft director of enterprise partnerships said: “Today, business travellers are more diverse and connected than ever, and they expect the flexibility to travel how and when they want.

“At Lyft, we’re also seeing an increase in adoption of ridesharing by travel managers. We’re helping them find not only cost savings but also higher safety standards and increased traveller visibility.”

The Certify Spend Smart data is collected from millions of business traveller receipts and expenses processed through its cloud-based management system from January 2014 to March 2016.

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