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Ride-sharing services gaining traction with business travelers

Ride-sharing services gaining traction with business travelers
A man leaves Uber's headquarters in San Francisco. Ride-sharing services like Uber are now more popular among business travelers than taxis. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are gaining popularity among business travelers, but they still take a back seat to rental cars.

That was the conclusion of a study by Maine-based Certify, a software company for business expense management that looked at 8.5 million expense reports filed in the July-through-September quarter.

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Over that reporting period, business travelers used car-rental services 44% of the time and  ride-sharing services 34% of the time, followed by taxis 22% of the time, the study reported.

Still, ride sharing has gained ground on rental cars as the preferred mode of transportation among business travelers.

In the first three months of 2014, ride sharing was the preferred way to get around only 8% of the time among business travelers.

Ride sharing has surpassed all other transportation expenses in several cities, including San Francisco, where business travelers used ride sharing 85% of the time, versus 6% for taxis and 12% for rental cars, the study found.

One reason for the growing popularity may be that ride sharing is typically less expensive than taking a taxi. The Certify study found that the average travel expense for a taxi ride was $35.28, compared with $27.61 for an Uber ride and $23.94 for Lyft.

"Traveling for work can be stressful, and our goal is to ensure that getting a ride is easy and hassle-free in the more than 330 cities and 60 countries where Uber is available around the world," said Max Crowley, an Uber for Business spokesman.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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