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Business Travelers Drawn To Uber And Lyft
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Given that business travelers who are responsible for their own travel budgets tend to review their cheap travel options closely, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and discount travel deals, closely before making any reservations, the fact that Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity among such travelers is noteworthy.
For the first time ever Uber has surpassed car rentals as business travelers preferred way of getting around town.
A review of over 30 million business expense transactions in 2015 found that in the fourth quarter, 41 percent of rides taken by business people nationwide were with Uber. That compared to 39 percent of rides taken in rental cars and 20 percent of rides in taxis between October and December.
Uber rides rose in excess of 400 percent in 2015 vs. the prior year. Ride share company Lyft experienced an increase in rides of 700 percent vs. 2014.
Airbnb, which arranges for people to rent out their homes, apartments, and single rooms, also grew more popular with business travelers. There was a 261 percent increase in the number of room nights rented through Airbnb in the US during 2015.
Uber has proved popular with business people in part because they find it easier not to have to deal with money, and the cars tend to be cleaner than the average taxi. Uber vehicles are generally far easier to hail than a taxi.
Customers know via Uber when a car is coming, can pre-enter their destinations, and be automatically billed, with the receipt going into their email for future retrieval for expense reporting.
Lyft riders use this service on corporate trips in part because the price is competitive, often as much as 15 percent lower than comparable taxi fares. The cost of parking lots and car rental prices have become so expensive in major cities that the price and convenience of Lyft make it attractive.
In foreign speaking countries, services like Uber mean that the rider does not need to explain the destination because it was sent when the car was requested.
Airbnb often appeals to business people because it tends to still offer rooms when hotel rooms cannot be found in busy cities that may be hosting multiple events/conventions.
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