It's been a good year for rideshare companies in Los Angeles. Ridership is way up as Angelenos starved of public transit options flock to their phones to get from place to place. This is even true for business travelers in LA, as they in particular have started favoring ride-hailing apps over taxis and rental cars. The business expense program Certify has compiled data from reimbursement receipts of nearly 1.5 million businesses and found an explosion in rideshare usage in Los Angeles, reports KPCC.
In early 2014, Uber and Lyft only accounted for 13 percent of business travelers' transportation expenses in LA. Way back then, people preferred rental cars (45 percent of transportation expenses) and taxis (42 percent). In the past year and a half, Uber and Lyft rides shot up a whopping 28 percent, now accounting for 41 percent of ground transportation taken by business travelers. Rental cars and taxis have both seen their numbers take a tumble, accounting for just 31 percent and 28 percent of ground travel expenses respectively.
This data follows a nationwide trend showing a strong preference for ride-hailing apps over taxis: since May 2014, taxis have seen their share of expensed rides tumble from a 78 percent share down to just 38 percent across the country. This is particularly hard news on the taxis in LA, an industry long lamented for its inefficacy compared with taxis in other cities. Now with Uber and Lyft cleared to make airport pickups at LAX, the likelihood of travelers even seeing a taxi during their stay is dwindling.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners tried to help taxis compete by mandating the creation of mobile cab hailing apps, but it hasn't been a smooth transition. While Uber and Lyft have their software firmly in place, Taxi companies are left to their own devices to integrate new dispatching software. Andrey Minosyan, CEO of the Los Angeles Independent Taxi Owners Association told KPCC that cab companies "cannot just go and purchase any software we'd like to" and even if they could, that decision would still have to be approved by city officials.
· Study: Uber and Lyft edging out taxi services for LA business travelers [KPCC]
· Certify Report [Official site]
· Uber and Lyft Are Now Cleared to Make Pick-Ups at LAX [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Taxis Will Have a Mandatory App Starting in August [Curbed LA]