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Uber and Lyft grab more business from taxis and rental cars

  • Business travelers are increasingly turning to Uber and Lyft while taking fewer cabs and renting fewer cars.
  • Money spent on rental cars and taxis each fell by two percent to 29 percent and eight percent, respectively.
The Uber application on a smartphone during an Uber ride in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Uber application on a smartphone during an Uber ride in Washington, D.C.

New data show business travelers are increasingly turning to Uber and Lyft while taking fewer cabs and renting fewer cars when out on the road.

Certify, a travel management firm which handles corporate travel transactions, analyzed more than 10 million receipts filed in the second quarter. It found the amount of money spent on rental cars and taxis each fell by two percent. Rental cars controlled 29 percent of the ground-travel expenses for business travelers and taxis had eight percent.

Meanwhile, both Uber and Lyft grew their share of the ground transportation market by two percent. Uber controlled 55 percent of the ground travel expenses for business travelers while Lyft had eight percent.

"The revolution in ground transportation we're seeing today led by Uber and Lyft has far reaching implications for the future of corporate travel," said Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify.

For many corporate travelers, the switch from renting a car to taking an Uber or Lyft helps explains why companies like Hertz have struggled in recent years. In the second quarter, Hertz lost $28 million. The stock, which traded at just under $125 in August 2014 has dropped to just under $17.

Meanwhile, taxi operators in large cities are reeling from the rise in popularity of ride sharing. Early this year, a New York City taxi medallion, which is required to operate a taxi in the country's largest city, sold for $241,000. Four years ago, a taxi medallion in New York sold for $1.3 million.

Overall, the average charge for a taxi ride cost business travelers $31.06 in the second quarter, according to Certify. By comparison, the average ride charges for Uber and Lyft were $24.49 and $21.28, respectively.