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May 10, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Ride-sharing is increasingly popular among business travellers

According to a recent study by Skift on the preferred modes of transport of US business travellers, ride-sharing is a widespread practice within almost all companies, regardless of their sector or size.

769 million people stated at the end of 2017 that they used ride-sharing according to a global inquiry by Bloomberg New Energy Finance – an increase of 28% over the previous half-year. But what of business travellers? A study recently carried out by Skift in partnership with Lyft on the habits of several hundred US business travellers revealed that 90% of them have been authorised to use ride-sharing by their company. 65% of those surveyed use the same ride-sharing services in professional and private contexts. Most travellers who replied favour ride-sharing for its simplicity of use (86%) and payment (65%), as well as its reduced costs (41%).


Business ride-sharing – the norm rather than the exception


While it was very much the exception a few years ago, business ride-sharing is now widely accepted, with over 90% of travellers surveyed saying that they had been specifically authorised by their employer to use it. 79% prefer this mode of transport over taxis or hire cars if given the choice.

This tendency can be seen across most companies, regardless of size. 30% of those surveyed worked for a company with over 5,000 employees, while 25% were part of a business with 50 employees or fewer. The same applies to sectors: business travellers who use ride-sharing work in fields as varied as technology, travel, services and for the state.


From private to professional usage


According to Skift, private usage has helped ride-sharing become more accepted in a professional context, with 65% of those surveyed saying that they use the same ride-sharing services in the two cases.

This phenomenon comes as no surprise to David Baga, Chief Business Officer for Lyft, saying: "Passengers made 375 million trips with Lyft in 2017 –2.3 times more than the previous year. There is nothing surprising about the fact that this widespread adoption of ride-sharing is now spreading to business travel."


Practical and simple method of transport


That ride-sharing is easy to use is the main advantage for business travellers (86%). 65% mention how simple it is to pay, while 41% appreciate the lower costs it entails. "Ride-sharing enables me to concentrate on my clients’ files rather than worrying about finding a place to park, getting petrol or returning a hire car," says Kyle Flick, a consultant who frequently uses ride-sharing for business trips.

Despite its many advantages, certain companies remain reticent. In 75% of cases of non-authorisation, no specific reason was given by the employer. Skift puts this essentially down to inertia and has little doubt that business ride-sharing will continue to become more common.


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