Business travellers are ditching taxis in droves in favour of Uber

Two years ago, 74% of business travel receipts filed for ground transportation were to cover the cost of a taxi. Now, the positions have reversed completely.

Uber now has a 73% share while taxis have fallen to only 22%, according to an analysis of more than 10 million business receipts by expense management company Certify.

It’s a bad outlook for an industry that’s struggling to keep up with the influx of ride-hailing apps.

“It’s happening,” Certify CEO Bob Neveu told Business Insider. “The shift is on.”

When his company first started tracking the rise of ride-hailing services two years ago, most businesses were still uncomfortable with employees expensing Uber or Lyft rides. Taxis still dominated ground transportation during trips at 74% while Uber had a 26% share. Lyft lagged behind with less than 1%.

In the last two years though, businesses have warmed to Uber and Lyft, especially as both have aggressively targeted business travellers. Lyft now has 5% share, while Uber’s has soared to close to 73%.

“Both Uber and Lyft are out courting businesses,” Neveu said. “You just open the flood gates.”

Since the second quarter of 2014, the taxi industry’s share of receipts has fallen by 51%, Certify calculated. Not only that, but travellers continue to rate both Uber and Lyft as a better experience on average.

Passengers, especially business travellers, have come to expect things like water or phone chargers in an Uber ride, whereas taxis still mean climbing into the back onto a gross leather seat with no added benefits, Neveu said.

“Business travellers expect that now in transportation,” Neveu said. “I can’t say how many times I’ve seen people waiting for an Uber on the street while taxis are going by.”

It also helps that the average Uber ride was $25 compared to the $40 average taxi ride.

“Taxis have to change their business,” Neveu concluded.

Here’s Certify’s full report on how business travellers are switching to ride-hailing services in droves:

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