What Uber’s growing competition means for business travelers

What Uber’s growing competition means for business travelers

Uber’s dominance in the rideshare category is undisputed. Even before the Certify SpendSmart Report found that Uber accounted for 47 percent of all its users’ ground transportation in March, it was clear this once small start up was destined for something big.

Today, the company is valued at $50 billion (that’s $50,000,000,000), and that means Uber and the rideshare space overall are attracting a lot more attention from everyone. Inevitably, some of that attention has come in the form of new competition that’s focused on capturing a piece of the lucrative ridesharing business for themselves.

So, who are some of the new players looking to gain on Uber’s lead, and what will this increase in competition among rideshare providers mean for business travelers? Let’s take a look at a few notable rideshare companies and what they’re doing to win business over Uber.

In terms of a direct competitor, Lyft comes closest to Uber in size and operations with a few important differences. First, Lyft decidedly wants to make ridesharing friendly and fun. Its tagline is “your friend with a car,” and each Lyft vehicle is adorned with whimsical pink mustaches. But it’s not all fun and games. Similar to Uber’s business offering, Lyft for Work provides a targeted set of services designed to make ground transportation easier for companies and travelers.

Addressing the some of the regulatory concerns facing Uber and others, Flywheel primarily works with taxi fleets by integrating directly into their dispatch systems. Through its mobile app, Flywheel connects users to a professional licensed a taxi driver with cars that are distinctly branded as Flywheel—a look that users can easily identify. Flywheel also follows the regulations of each city in which it operates. However, the service isn’t yet widely available, which may limit its utility for business travelers in the short term as Flywheel continues to build its presence nationwide.

Launched in 2010, Gett is going after Uber by focusing exclusively on the business traveler market. Fixed pricing and black car service are Gett’s primary vehicles for differentiating from the competition, and securing services contracts directly with companies is how they do it. So, while other rideshare services have created special programs and functionality for business customers, Gett is banking on pricing transparency and a nicer ride as the key to winning corporate clients.

Change is good
While increased competition may not be great for Uber, growth in the rideshare category is ultimately good for business travelers and consumers alike. We’re already seeing how demand is driving innovation and new technologies for corporate users. And as the industry matures, we can only expect further specialization of services and pricing pressure as rideshare companies vie to meet the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.