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Uber taking a larger slice of the business travel budget

The Uber Technologies Inc. application and logo are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s and iPad Air in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

A new report finds that an increasing amount of business travel dollars are going to Uber over other forms of transportation — a development that underscores how quickly taxicabs and shuttle services are losing market share to the app-based upstart.

In their latest report on business spending, Maine-based Certify, a software company that helps companies track business spending, found that Uber’s share of the transportation market has more than tripled in a year from 15 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 46 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Conversely, rides in taxicabs (a category which includes limousines and shuttles) dropped from 85 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 53 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

Certify noted that the shift should please accounting departments — the company’s data found that Uber is generally a cheaper alternative with the average ride costing $35.40 vs. $43.24 for a taxi.

An interesting note: Certify’s data found that while Uber is the overwhelming choice in some cities — Dallas and San Francisco — taxis still dominate the market in others — New York, Chicago and Miami. In D.C., the percentage of rides is almost evenly split between taxicabs and Uber, but it’s clear that Uber’s market share is growing dramatically. In the first quarter of 2014, taxicabs had roughly 80 percent of the business compared with Uber at 20 percent. A year later, the market is almost evenly split with taxicabs holding on to 51 percent of the market compared with Uber’s 49 percent.

“The sharing economy is bringing disruption to all of these markets, but it’s fascinating to see how that disruption unfolds from city to city,” said Certify’s CEO Robert Neveu, in a news release that accompanied the report. “For example, business people in Dallas and San Francisco are now expensing Uber more often than taxis, while taxis still dominate market share in New York.”

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