Although a recent analysis of business travelers’ expense reports showed that ride-sharing services — especially Uber — had overtaken taxis (but not rental cars) as the ground transportation option of choice, new research from the Global Business Travel Association comes to a different conclusion.
Rather than polling business travelers, the GBTA study surveyed corporate travel managers, and it found that rental cars are the preferred choice for traveling employees’ ground transport, cited by 36 percent, followed by taxis (24 percent), chauffeur-driven cars (13 percent) and then ride-sharing services (11 percent).
According to the survey, 24 percent of the travel managers said their companies do not allow employees to use ride-sharing services at all — “by far the highest percentage for any form of ground transportation,” said Michael McCormick, GBTA’s executive director. “In addition, a large number of companies still have not adopted policies around ride-sharing companies, revealing a need for education about the benefits and the risks.”
The risks of ride-sharing are what really concern companies, since “duty of care” is so important to them. That’s the legal principle that says companies can be held liable for things that happen to their employees while they’re traveling for the company.
The survey also asked travel managers what was most important to them and their travelers in selecting a method of transportation. “Topping the list was traveler and vehicle safety, availability for a timely pick-up, and convenience of payments methods, with three-quarters of business travelers and eight in ten travel buyers calling these factors highly important,” GBTA said.
The travel managers said that about two-thirds of their travelers are not familiar with the safety-related aspects of ride-sharing services, like driver certification and training, and local regulations affecting the app-based companies.
“Travel buyers (i.e., company travel managers) are more familiar with most of the duty of care aspects than business travelers, but less than a quarter are very familiar with all of them, showing education is necessary to inform them of the differences between ground transportation methods,” GBTA said.
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