When last we checked in on the ride-sharing biz’s post-virus prognosis, the outlook for Uber stockholders wasn’t pretty. In May, surveys found that more than half of Americans were anxious about returning to the back seat of a ride share, and that nearly a quarter planned to swear off ridership entirely. Two months later, things don’t look much better, as another pair of surveys have found that a significant proportion of Americans may still never hire a ride share again.
CarGurus, one of the original surveyors cited in our May story, ran a followup survey in June that asked 779 Americans for their plans regarding transportation during and after the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It found that 29.7 percent of Americans plan to reduce their usage of ride shares, up from 28 percent in April, and that while a small number have backed down on their pledge to cease hiring Ubers entirely, the change is minimal, down to 9.6 percent from April’s 10 percent. Of this group of respondents, 58 percent plan to substitute personal vehicle use for ride-sharing, signaling a possible worsening of the U.S.’s traffic problems.
A similar survey by ADT found that the majority of Americans are concerned about the cleanliness of ride shares, with 57.6 percent of the 1,005 surveyed reported moderate to extreme worries about whether ride shares are sanitary. Only 6.1 percent reported apathy toward the matter, though they represent a small minority of Americans, most of whom ADT found to be less than friendly toward riding Lyft or Uber even after health orders lift.
Just 25.1 percent of ADT’s respondents said they were moderately to extremely likely to use ride shares in the future, whereas 59.3 percent plan to heavily reduce their ridership. Precisely 15.6 percent swore to never hail a ride share again, and no matter how Uber’s board members want to frame it, losing close to one-sixth of their customer base in a matter of months is an ugly change of fortune. Perhaps ride-sharing services could tempt some lost customers back by appealing to the 70.6 percent that will only consider riding again if vehicles are sanitized between passengers… Though it sounds like those people might want to look into something called a taxi instead.
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