Consumers have clearly developed a healthy appetite for ridesharing services - and the demand for on-demand ride service doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon. In fact, more consumers are using ridesharing services than ever before. Moreover, they are using them more frequently and spending more money on them, according to SharesPost’s Second Annual Ridesharing Consumer survey.
In our 2017 year-end survey, we were able to track year-over-year (YOY) trends in the ridesharing sector, including trends in market share, overall ridesharing consumer preferences, usage, and consumer satisfaction rates. We received 6,880 responses from U.S.-based consumers, up from 5,475 responses in our 2016 survey.
The 2017 results speak volumes about ridesharing and have positive implications for the two largest ride-sharing firms in the U.S. - Uber and Lyft. Among the highlights:
U.S. ridesharing adoption jumped from 38% in 2016 to 53% in 2017. 53% of our respondents have used one or more ridesharing apps in the past 12 months. This percentage is up 15-points from our 2016 survey. It also implies 2.5 times the usage reported in a 2015 Pew Survey measuring the proportion of adult population using ridesharing. We observed enhanced market penetration by Millennials, city dwellers, and individuals who did not own cars.
Ridesharing usage has increased by 15% since 2016.
Lyft’s U.S. market share has substantially increased since 2016. In our 2017 survey, 18% of ridesharing app users reported using Lyft most frequently. In our 2016 survey, 10% indicated Lyft as their first ridesharing choice. By contrast, the proportion of survey respondents who most often use Uber dropped meaningfully, from 76% in 2016 to 65% in 2017.
Consumers are spending more per ride and using ridesharing services more frequently. These ridesharing trends are positive for both Uber and Lyft. Specifically, Uber and Lyft users now use ridesharing services for an average of 40 trips per year. And they spend, on average, approximately $15 per trip.
Ridesharing services are replacing traditional public transportation services. Consumers are increasingly choosing ridesharing services over traditional means of transportation-in particular, public transportation. While our survey showed that the number of consumers using ridesharing apps has increased by 15% YOY, respondents indicated they are using public transportation and traditional taxi services less often.
Ridesharing services are an increasingly viable alternative to car ownership. We observed marginally higher rates of ridesharing app use among those who do not own cars than those who own or lease. Among non-owners who have heard of ridesharing apps, 58% have used ridesharing services. This is another positive sign for ridesharing services, and could soon begin to impact car ownership decisions.
In a head-to-head comparison, Uber has a slight edge in consumer perception vs. Lyft. The ongoing battle between Uber and Lyft is one of the defining features of the U.S. ridesharing space. While Uber is the reigning market leader, the company’s recent managerial and legal troubles have enabled Lyft to significantly gain ground. Currently, 24% of surveyed consumers consider Lyft and Uber to be essentially equivalent. 24% consider Uber to the superior service, and 16% consider Lyft to be superior.
Consumers are less bullish about the future of self-driving cars. The advent of autonomous vehicle technology is a significant opportunity for ridesharing companies. Uber, Lyft, and other players have all invested significant capital in self-driving technology. 22% of surveyed consumers believe that self-driving cars will become safe and reliable by 2022. However, this proportion has declined from the 30% of survey respondents who felt the same way in our 2016 survey.
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