Mobile Commerce

Ridesharing Services May Not Be As Popular As Everyone Thinks

Driverless cars may be the hope of many, but when it comes to what’s getting all the attention these days, its ride-hailing companies that are getting all the love. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of ordering up a ride from a smartphone? Apparently, investors who have driven up the valuations of both Uber and Lyft.

But the hype around these services may be due to a bit of inside baseball with the tech-savvy and investors as the main cheerleaders for these services. That’s according to TECHnalysis Research, which found some startling results in a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers who both own a car and expect to purchase one over the next two years. It found a large number of people in the U.S. have little-to-no experience with a ridesharing service, be it Uber or Lyft. The survey found around 57 percent have never used one of the services, and 23 percent have only used it once or twice. Of the survey respondents, only around 20 percent are regular or semi-regular users of these services.

Where you live also matters when it comes to using ridesharing apps. The survey found 31 percent of people living in the city use ridesharing once or twice a month. That compares to 17 percent of people who live in the suburbs and 9 percent of rural dwellers. Not surprisingly, 32 percent of those that use it once or twice a month are under the age of 35.

The report noted that, even among the people who are using the services, the reasons they are hailing a ride seems to suggest it is a supplemental transportation method, not the main one. Close to 75 percent of ridesharing users said they view it as a supplemental service for instances when they have been drinking, traveling or other occasions where they don’t have access to a car. That leaves just 5 percent of survey respondents that use the services more than just on an occasion.

“There’s no question that ridesharing services have had an impact on the way that people think about cars, car ownership and transportation in general,” said Bob O’Donnell, president, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research in a blog post. “But as the survey results dramatically illustrate, their influence on how, why or if people actually purchase new cars is likely to be extremely small for some time to come.”

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