Just when Uber seemed to be improving its image, a new PR storm appears to be brewing. A tell-all book coming soon reportedly divulges stories of fees designed to rip off customers, disingenuous safety initiatives, and other unflattering Uber anecdotes. Considering its less-than-stellar stock performance and rumors of the company bleeding cash, you’d think Uber was struggling to make a buck.
But data from CivicScience tells a different story – a rosy one for ridesharing services in general and Uber more specifically. A study of 52,000 U.S. adults over the past 14 months shows rideshare service adoption steadily on the rise and even accelerating in recent months. As of August 26th, a full 35% of Americans identified themselves as rideshare users, up from 27% only a year ago. That represents a net increase of nearly 30% over four calendar quarters.
And even as Lyft has made respectable gains, with 16% of U.S. adults or nearly one-half of all ridesharers using the app, they remain a distant second behind Uber. A full 30% of U.S. adults ride Uber – or 85% of all rideshare users.
As CivicScience showed in a study back in March, there is a high level of overlap between users of the two main ridesharing apps, with 73% of Lyft users also using Uber and 37% of Uber users also using Lyft. But even among rideshare users who patronize both apps, they still prefer Uber by nearly 2.5 to 1. No matter how you slice it, Uber is still dominating as the market grows.
But Uber seems to be finding new ways to blow the market opportunity they’ve created for themselves – if the salacious details in this new book are any indication. People searching for optimism in Lyft’s future could find hope in CivicScience data. Lyft over-indexes in popularity among growth segments like Millennials, women, and urban minorities. If Uber continues to become a less aspirational brand, those emerging cohorts could be lost to Lyft forever.
The ridesharing marketplace is still Uber’s to lose. They just need to stay out of their own way.