Wednesday, 04 September 2019 23:47

Uber rides away from taxi services in ride-sharing market battle Featured

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Ride-share company Uber has overtaken the taxi industry in the battle for marketshare, with a greater proportion of Australians now using Uber compared with taxis, according to newly published research.

According to the market study undertaken by Roy Morgan a greater number of Australians aged 14-plus – 22.9% of them – are now taking an Uber while slightly less, or 21.8% to be exact, are using taxis.

The research shows that over the past three years, Uber has experienced a dramatic rise in popularity, with the proportion of Australians utilising the service in an average three-month period increasing from 6.6% (1.3 million) of the population, to 22.9% (4.7 million) - an increase of 16.3% points (+ 3.4 million).

But although Uber is now the preferred service, the proportion of Australians using taxis has remained relatively steady in recent years, dropping only slightly from 24.4% (4.8 million) to 21.8% (4.5 million).

According to Roy Morgan, when looking at customers by age group, “we see the rising popularity of Uber being driven by younger Australians”.

Roy Morgan says a total of 42.6% (1 million) of those aged 18-24, and 35.7% (1.3 million) of those aged 25-34, used Uber in an average three-month period.

These two age groups account for 2.3 million out of the 4.7 million Australians who use Uber in an average three-month period.

However, Roy Morgan says the usage of Uber differs markedly across age groups.

While younger Australians are Uber’s best customers, Australians aged 65+ had the lowest proportion (6.6%) of Uber usage among them.

Taxi usage, however, is far more consistent across age groups, with the study revealing that those aged 35-49 had the highest proportion of taxi usage (25.3%), with 14-17 years old’s recording the lowest (14.8%).
So, what else do we know about Uber users?

According to the Roy Morgan study Uber users are far more likely than the average Australian to be in Generation Y and Generation Z, to be in the ‘Young Optimism’ and ‘Socially Aware’ Roy Morgan Value Segments, and to be in a ‘Young Single’ or ‘Young Couple’ household life cycle.

When it comes to health and fitness, 82% of survey respondents report feeling well and in good health, almost half (46%) are concerned about their sugar intake, and 30% love doing as many sports as possible.

Compared with the average Australian, Uber users are 144% more likely to have recently snowboarded, 43% more likely to be more interested in their job than their house, and 35% more likely to have recently been to the cinema.

“Although it comes as no real surprise, Uber has now officially become the most popular private transport service among Australians, with a total of 4.7 million Australians utilising the ride-share app in an average three-month period,” Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says.

“Young Australians aged between 18-34 years old are Uber’s largest customer base. As these younger, more tech-friendly generations take up a greater proportion of the population, Uber is likely to continue to rise in popularity.

“The data shows that while taxi usage has remained relatively stable over the past few years, it is the 35-64 year age group that is taxis’ largest consumer base. As this group continues to age, it is likely we’ll see the number of taxi users continue to fall.

“When we look at Uber users within specific locations, we see Perth having the highest Uber usage of any capital city, with 32.1% of residents having recently used one. This is followed by Melbourne (31.8%) and Sydney (29.1%),” Levine concluded.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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