In cities across the U.S. as ride-sharing service competitors Uber and Lyft make their way into more and more markets, law enforcement is ready to hand out citations to drivers. It’s happening in Madison. In St. Louis. Omaha police won’t cite drivers as long as service is free. Tampa is getting ready for the launch and citation risks. At least in Dallas, local regulators are seeking to level the playing field.

In our hometown of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (which regulates the taxi services in the state) recently produced 23 citations for Uber and Lyft drivers for “operating without a license.”

Has anyone bothered to ask what consumers think about Uber and Lyft competing with taxi services? Well, we have.

CivicScience used our syndicated polling network and consumer insights data mining technology to find out what the service-buying public thinks of Uber and Lyft in competition with taxi providers.  Turns out, they are highly in favor of it.

In the past few weeks, over 24,000 respondents across the U.S. answered the question: “Do you think rideshare services companies Uber and Lyft should be allowed to compete with taxi service companies?”

Uber and Lyft competing with Taxi providers

  • 61% said they should be able to compete — with 45% saying that the competition should be more free, without much restriction or oversight.
  • 32% don’t have an opinion.
  • Only 6% said they should not be allowed to compete.
  • As income levels increase, there is greater likelihood that the respondent will say “Yes, they should compete freely.”
  • Younger persons, those with lower incomes, and women were more likely to respond “I don’t know.”

As we look at responses by metro area or region where Uber and Lyft have already launched or are planning to launch their services, roughly equal number or even more consumers are in favor of competition: (numbers may not total 100% due to rounding)

Uber Lyft by Region

Interestingly, majority of consumers support these independent companies’ competition with taxi services despite only a very few (4%) having used Uber of Lyft at this point:

Who is trying Uber and Lyft services

Only another 8% said they want to use the services.

This data suggest that although most consumers will not actually consume the service from a business like Lyft or Uber, they still support competition with Taxi service providers.