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Do you use ridesharing apps for business trips?

Ridesharing apps are rapidly growing in popularity for personal trips, but the uptake is slower for business travellers. In Australia, industry analysts are reporting  a 64% preference for taxis over rideshare services on corporate trips . Though, the adoption of ridesharing apps for business travel is increasing, as more companies look for ways to reduce expenses.

Why companies are more open to ridesharing apps

In May 2019, approximately 12% of Australian companies allowed the use of ridesharing services for business travel. This year we’re seeing greater willingness for companies let their staff make the choice.

In addition to price, convenience and safety are motivating factors for businesses.  Staff are becoming more familiar with ridesharing apps and the availability of rides has increased. Booking on a ridesharing app helps streamline expenses and avoid price blowouts, but it can also be easier than finding a taxi rank or hailing a cab.

Former safety concerns have been addressed by the ridehsare companies. Uber, Ola and Didi have all added emergency buttons to their apps. Plus passengers can share their trip location in real-time and Didi introduced in-trip audio recording.

How to include ridesharing in your travel policies

Business travellers are now in the sights of ridesharing companies. The corporate sector represents a strong growth opportunity, so it’s no surprise to see Uber and others launch business-friendly services.

The appeal for businesses includes being able to set ride policies and easily track expenses. By putting an effective ground transport policy in place, there’s potential to drive savings and manage risks.

Firstly, do an internal audit of your current transport expenses, comparing taxis to ridesharing services. Once you have that data, you can identify high-risk locations and opportunities to work with rideshare suppliers.

The next step is to establish some guidance and boundaries for staff. Providing clear policies along with flexibility for your travellers to choose can work well. The policies should reflect your corporate culture, staff demographics and risk management policies.

If may be necessary to specify in which countries your staff can use rideshare services and which apps are preferable. Also consider parameters for the type of car, whether your organisation will permit shared rides and other criteria that’s relevant to your location or industry.

Which rideshare service is right for you?

In Australia we’ve seen the number of ridesharing services grow to six. This includes Uber, Ola, DiDi, Shebah, GoCatch and Bolt, depending on where you are located.

A recent 9now.nine.com.au poll showed that Uber is slipping in the popularity stakes amongst rideshare services. When asked to nominate their favourite ridesharing apps, last count shows 18% of respondents chose Uber, whereas 25% said Didi and 56% went with Ola.

Excluded from this survey was newcomers like Shebah. In April 2019, Shebah broke Australian crowdfunding records and is now our country’s first women-only rideshare service. Shebah’s mission is “to deliver a safe transport option to women and children on a platform that is profitable to women drivers.”  Their services are available in all states and territories, including some regional centres.

If price determines your preferred rideshare company, Ola often comes in a the lowers. A Current Affair recently put Ola, Didi and Uber to the test, with three staff doing the same trip at the same time. “Ola came in as the cheapest at a cost of $14.89 while Uber cost $19.93 and Didi was the most expensive at $20.29.”

There are also incentives from ridesharing companies who have partnered with loyalty campaigns. You can now earn Velocity points on Ola and status-based bonus points for airport rides. Plus many of the services have special offers when you first sign up.


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