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Uber Makes Strong Gains In Corporate Expense Reports

Uber headquarters in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg
Uber headquarters in San Francisco.

Ride-sharing services are changing the way Americans commute, but just how big their impact is can be gauged by a report released Tuesday.

In the first quarter of 2015, Uber accounted for 46 percent of rides expensed by workers whose employers use Certify, the No. 2 provider of expense-reporting software in North America. Uber's market share in the first quarter of 2014 was 15 percent. Uber's rival Lyft accounted for 1 percent of rides in the first quarter of this year.

At the same time, Certify said, cab, limo and shuttle rides — collectively categorized as taxicab rides — were expensed 53 percent in the first quarter of the year. The figure for the same period in 2014 was 85 percent.

"The business community is looking for value and convenience, and at the same time this is a group that is interested in innovation," Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify, said in a statement. "Ridesharing services are making inroads into corporate budgets because they combine all of those things."

Certify also noted Uber's growth in several cities in the U.S.: In Los Angeles and Washington, it now accounts for nearly half the rides expensed by business travelers, Certify says. In Dallas, it's 56 percent, and in San Francisco, it's 71 percent. Taxis still dominate New York City, the company noted.

One reason could be cost. Certify noted that the average cost per ride of Uber was $31.24; the corresponding figure for taxis was $35.40.

Certify said its report was based on "user data from their cloud-based expense management system."

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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