As ride-hailing apps continue to grow in importance an option for business travelers, it seems they still have a way to go among the public at large. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that only 15 percent of U.S. adults have ever used a ride-hailing app – and fully one-third of adults have never heard of them! (That’s definitely not the case among TravelSkills readers!)
Of those who do use the apps, only 17 percent said they do so daily or weekly, while 26 percent use them at least once a month and 56 percent do so less frequently than that. Why? Pew says “With some exceptions, they are largely only available in and around urban areas.” It notes, not surprisingly, that Uber or Lyft are most popular among young adults, urbanites and college grads.
Check out the Pew Survey here for some more enlightening numbers about the use of ride hailing services.
In related news this week Uber rolled out a new app for business customers – and it’s not for smartphones.
Instead, it’s for tablet computers. It’s called UberCENTRAL, and companies can use it to order rides for their customers, clients and guests. The app can handle multiple ride requests simultaneously, and provides for payment by the company and centralized billing and reporting from different locations.
When a company orders a ride for a customer, that person will receive a text message informing them of the trip and driver, along with a link to a live map to facilitate pick-ups.
The company said UberCENTRAL works on any tablet and with any browser, and it is now available for use in the U.S. and Canada.
In other ground transportation news, JetBlue said this week that its new Silicon Valley-based venture capital subsidiary, JetBlue Technology Ventures, is putting money into a four-year-old tech star-up called Mozio. JetBlue said the San Francisco-based company’s mission “is to build the ultimate urban mobility app,” one that allows consumers to book shuttles, taxis, limos, express trains, buses and public transit from one interface.
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