Uber is now more popular than taxis in Australia — and its growth is being driven by tech-savvy millennials

Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / Getty ImagesUber is now the most preferred mode of transport over taxis.
  • Uber has overtaken the taxi to become the most preferred mode of private transport in Australia, according to research from Roy Morgan.
  • Australians aged between 18 and 24 are Uber’s largest customer base and are driving the platform’s popularity.
  • Taxi use, however, has remained relatively stable, with only a minor drop in usage over the past three years.

Ridesharing giant Uber has overtaken the humble taxi to become the most preferred mode of private transport in Australia, according to research from market researcher Roy Morgan.

The research, released on Monday, found that a greater proportion of Australians over the age of 14 are now using Uber (22.9%) compared to taxis (21.8%).

Roy Morgan said Uber has experienced a “dramatic rise in popularity” over the past three years. It found that the proportion of Australians using the ridesharing platform in an average three month period increased from 6.6% of the population to a whopping 22.9%.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2015 – June 2019. Rolling 12-month quarterly figures. Average
interviews per year n=14,733. Base: Australians aged 14+

The findings come from a Roy Morgan Single Source survey that involved face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year.

Younger Australians are driving this increased Uber usage, particularly 18-24 year olds. Roy Morgan found that 42.6% of 18-24 year olds, and 35.7% of 25-34 year olds, used Uber in an average three-month period. Both these age groups accounted for 2.3 million of the 4.7 million Australians who use Uber in an average three month period.

“Although it comes as no real surprise, Uber has now officially become the most popular private transport service among Australians, with a total of 4.7 million Australians utilising the ride-share app in an average three-month period,” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said in a statement.

“Young Australians aged between 18-34 years old are Uber’s largest customer base. As these younger, more tech-friendly generations take up a greater proportion of the population, Uber is likely to continue to rise in popularity.”

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2018 – June 2019.

Levine added that Perth has the highest Uber usage rate of any capital city, with 32.1% of residents having recently used the app. This is followed by Melbourne (31.8%) and Sydney (29.1%).

But despite Uber’s increased popularity, Roy Morgan found that the proportion of Australians using taxis has remained relatively stable in recent years. Taxi usage has dropped only slightly from 24.4% to 21.8% between July 2015 and June 2019.

“The data shows that while taxi usage has remained relatively stable over the past few years, it is the 35-64 year age group that is taxis’ largest consumer base,” Levine said. “As this group continues to age, it is likely we’ll see the number of taxi users continue to fall.”

Who is the average Uber user?

Roy Morgan found that Uber users are far more likely to be Gen Y or Gen Z, socially aware and either a young single or part of a young couple.

When it comes to health and fitness, 82% of respondents reported being in good health, 46% identified being concerned about their sugar intake and 30% loved doing as many sports as possible.

And compared to the average Australian, Uber users are more likely to have recently snowboarded or been to the cinema.

So if you have a social life at all, it seems Uber is the more likely option you’d to take when going out.

Business Insider Australia has contacted Uber and the Australian Taxi Industry Association for response.

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