Uber and Lyft: Is Ridesharing Right for your Business?

When ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft hit the market, they transformed ground transportation. Capitalizing on the convenience and immediate gratification of mobile technology, the app-based services quickly gained popularity. Today, travelers can call an Uber in over 600 cities across 70 countries, with Lyft available in over 450 cities in the U.S.

Despite their convenience and popularity, corporations are slow to adopt ridesharing services. Business travelers have more complex demands, while corporations themselves need to ensure proper duty of care for travelers. However, the recent introduction of Uber for Business and Lyft Business makes ridesharing services a viable option for corporate travel programs.

Both services have greatly expanded their technology platforms, which now support a range of corporate features and requirements.

Traveler Safety:

At the heart of both Uber and Lyft’s business services is traveler safety. Each provider has taken extensive steps to ensure travelers and their information remain secure throughout the duration of their trip:

  • Significant Driver Vetting: All drivers must pass extensive background checks, which investigate criminal background, driving history, as well as vehicle registration and inspections. Uber and Lyft both work with accredited, third party providers to verify a potential driver’s personal information. If hired, drivers are subject to ongoing performance and safety reviews.
  • Pre-Trip Driver Confirmation: When travelers are matched with a driver, they receive the driver’s photo, license plate number, and car information. This way they can verify their ride right when it arrives.

  • Share Trip Details: Travelers can share trip information with others, including their driver’s information, current location, and arrival confirmation.

  • Trip Feedback: At the end of each trip, both rider and driver rate the other. Uber and Lyft’s respective safety teams use this feedback to ensure proper driver and service quality and also as a means to investigate negative reports.

  • Round the Clock Attention: Uber’s incident response team and Lyft’s critical response line provide travelers with 24/7 support. In addition, in-app support teams are there to answer traveler questions and help with small travel hiccups, like personal items left in the car.

  • Insurance: If the trip goes awry, you and your traveler are protected. Uber and Lyft both offer up to $1 million in liability coverage.

Increased Transparency and Accessibility:

With Uber and Lyft’s business services, corporations have greater control and insight into trip quality and cost. Each provider provides access to a dashboard. From there, corporations can run spend reports, view their travelers’ journeys in real-time via GPS tracking, and review ride history logs to hold providers accountable for travel efficiency.

When it comes to managing business costs, Uber and Lyft have several advantages. Both services offer streamlined expense reporting through automated receipt forwarding. In addition, Uber claims it’s 30 – 50% less expensive than a taxi, while Lyft claims it’s 30% less than taxis.

Is Ridesharing Right for my Business?

Depending on your business needs, Uber for Business or Lyft Business could offer significant advantages. In addition, both services can be easily integrated into existing business travel management systems like Concur.

However, ridesharing services come with their own set of challenges. Inconsistent and surge pricing are common with these services, and lack of ridesharing regulation in some cities may leave you paying the brunt of the cost if there’s an accident. It’s also important to consider how introducing a new ground transportation service may impact existing contracts.

Before choosing a ridesharing partner, or deciding if a ridesharing service is right for you, get input from others. Talk to your travelers about their preferences. Meet with your legal team to discuss risks and benefits.

Lastly, contact your program manager at Atlas Travel. We can advise you on whether ridesharing is feasible alongside your current car services. If it is, Atlas works with both Uber and Lyft and can help you determine the right fit for your business. Clients using our mobile app, AMIGo, will also benefit from the Uber and Lyft integration that allows one-stop access for all transportation bookings. Plus, your program manager will walk you through implementing effective travel policy guidelines and a seamless compliance process.

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