CivicScience | It May Be Awhile Til Rideshare Usage Bounces Back

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It May Be Awhile Til Rideshare Usage Bounces Back

Image Credit: Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Despite many states easing lockdown restrictions throughout June, rideshare app usage continued to take a coronavirus-related hit.

Among rideshare users over the last month, 65% of them had stopped using the services completely due to the coronavirus, with another 5% saying they’re planning on stopping. Only 30% of rideshare users say they’ve continued to ride on.

So what will get Americans back in their Ubers or Lyfts? A coronavirus vaccine would certainly help, as nearly three out of four rideshare users who have stopped (or intend to stop) using rideshare services say they will get a coronavirus vaccine once one becomes available, outpacing both people who are still using rideshare apps, as well as the general public. This would seem to indicate a return to rideshares once the antibodies start circulating.

But all is not rosy for the future of rideshare: Another place rideshare users are outpacing the general public? Their intent to buy or lease a car in the next 90 days, with 14% of rideshare users saying they’re at least “somewhat” likely to buy or lease. The general public sits at 12%.

Breaking it down by age, Gen Z has put the brakes on rideshare usage at the highest rate, with 71% of that cohort forgoing Uber and Lyft. The over-55 crowd, however, has continued using rideshare apps at the highest rate, with 35% motoring on.

Predictably, city residents who use rideshare apps report giving them up the most over the last month. On the flip side, more than 4 in 10 rural Americans who use the apps have continued to do so.

Women who use rideshare apps have given them up at a 14% higher clip than men.

Looking at some broader numbers in the Uber vs. Lyft battle: Over the course of the last 30 days, 17% of Americans say they use Lyft, while 29% are Uber aficionados. 

Many industries have been rocked by coronavirus, and not all of them will be able to snap back to where they were pre-pandemic. Rideshare services – by any metric, a massive consumer hit in recent years – occupy an interesting position. They’re easy, economical, and were still gaining popularity. But then there’s the whole “sharing a tiny indoor space with a stranger who might be a carrier” thing that, as of now, has been a major-league turnoff for over 60% of rideshare users. Clearly, a “return to normal” via a vaccine would do wonders for the rideshare industry – assuming rideshare users don’t plunk down some cash for a ride of their own first.

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