Alcohol Drives Use of Uber and Lyft
For Uber and Lyft, being the designated driver is great for business.
Americans are willing to shell out for rides from those companies when they have no other way to get home. At all other times during the weekday, this ridesourcing technology is the least used sort of shared mobility transportation, behind buses, trains and carsharing options such as Zipcar or car2go. For most people, the likes of Uber and Lyft are not used to commute to and from work.
This is according to new research by the public-interest advocacy group, Shared-Use Mobility Center, released today that was performed for the national public transit advocacy group, American Public Transportation Association, and paid for with money from the Federal Transit Administration.
That’s because overwhelmingly, ridesourcing technology, such as Uber and Lyft, are seen as transportation tools for recreational and social activities.
More than 100 survey respondents said that their alcohol consumption was a “major consideration” in their decision to hail an Uber or Lyft ride.
Interestingly, the research did not explicitly ask about alcohol consumption. The 100 survey respondents volunteered their proclivity to turn to ridesourcing technology when they are drinking. The researchers, therefore, predict that number of survey respondents who say that alcohol use is a determining factor in selecting one transportation variety over another would have been much higher had the question been asked.
For the research, about 4,500 Americans who use some sort of shared transportation responded to the survey across seven cities, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.