Uber Rising In Popularity Among Colorado Business Travelers

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Photo: Uber driver in San Francisco (AP Photo)
In this file photo, Uber driver Karim Amrani sits in his car parked near the San Francisco International Airport parking area in San Francisco.

More and more business travelers are embracing Uber. The ride-sharing service grew 337 percent in Colorado over the last year, according to a report released Thursday.

Denver, the top market in the state for Uber, saw usage rise by 317 percent. And Colorado Springs saw a notable jump, too.

"Uber has done just a tremendous job of capturing business traveler market share," said Bob Neveu, CEO of Certify, which tracks business expenses for thousands of companies in North America. "But we also see it with Lyft, we see it with Airbnb and we see it with other companies that are managing to find niches and opportunities in the business travel segment."

He told CPR News' Mike Lamp that business people are finding a lot of new ways to get around when they’re on the road. Listen to their conversation above and read highlights below.

On Uber's success with business travelers:

"If you're going to ask your employee to travel for work, they've got to get on a plane, they've got to stay in a hotel, they've got to get a meal, they've got to get home. The company has an obligation to get them safely to and from their destination. And what's happened is, two years ago, Uber may not have been an acceptable vendor to a Fortune 500 company. But today, because of the use and the adoption and, sort of, the pervasiveness of it, the Fortune 500 company might say, 'OK, Uber is now on our list of acceptable vendors and you are allowed to use it.' ... It used to be, take the black car and go stay at the Marriott. Now its like, take an Uber and stay at somebody's house."

On Uber overtaking rental cars:

"The total number of Uber vs. taxi vs. rental car, just those three compared against each other, Uber has actually eclipsed those other two categories in [the fourth quarter] of 2015. So I think the car rental companies need to pay attention to this one. It's an ongoing trend that adoption rates of ride sharing is, I think, eroding taxis and rentals."

On Lyft playing catch-up:

"Year over year, they've grown 700 percent. The 700 percent growth is really exciting but I think it is, across all the car rental, taxi, and Uber, I think Lyft is less than 3 percent of the total. So it's still small in terms of overall use, but it is growing rapidly. So 3 percent -- maybe this time next year it's 10 percent."

Certify also released this infogrpahic showing more results from their research:Certify infographic