Is Lyft Transforming The Corporate Travel Industry?
Is Lyft Transforming The Corporate Travel Industry?
In December 2017, Skift reported that Lyft unveiled their partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. This is a big move that could have a significant impact on the corporate travel industry. But is it transformative? Let’s take a look.
There has been a great deal of controversy over whether or not companies should even allow their corporate travelers to use tools such as Lyft and Uber while on business trips.
The concern was with the duty of care regulations, and HR departments and executives were worried about security and data metrics, even though Lyft offers convenience and significant cost savings. Many corporate lawyers were hesitant to use these novel and “risky’ forms of transportation, especially when the company was liable for the wellbeing of its travelers.
However, Lyft responded to these concerns by creating features and services that make it ideal for corporate travel. These changes have added an entirely new element to their rideshare app. As a result, and as ride-sharing apps have become more mainstream, they have started to transform corporate travel.
We’ve already written about how the sharing economy will impact corporate travel in 2018, but let’s look specifically at Lyft, what it has to offer and how it will be adding more, safer convenience for corporate travelers.
Adapting to Corporate Travel Needs
Lyft has adapted and created some corporate tools to make their app more suited to business travel. These tools allow for the use of one central payment card, employee trip tracking and the ability to manage which employees can use the service, with a convenient admin panel. Lyft for Business takes this a step further. This provides corporations with the ability to see all of the ride activity for their organization, so that they know exactly how much they are spending and where.
These features allow companies to plan and to have more control over their business travel. Plus, the Lyft for Business dashboard makes it possible to manage all business travel from a single spot, which is ideally convenient.
It’s important to note that Lyft’s rival Uber has already been moving in this direction as well with a head start. Uber partnered with Concur in July of 2016, and together they have already created an Uber for Business platform. However, Lyft is poised to make deeper inroads into corporate travel, so it is bound to catch up soon. According to the latest report from Certify (an expense tracking service) Lyft has grown from 3 percent of ground transportation expenses to 11 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
The Draw of Using Lyft for Corporate Travel
Why are businesses interested in Lyft for corporate travelers?
It’s clear to see why ride-sharing is convenient for the everyday traveler, but what are the advantages for businesses and their employees? What can Lyft offer that other transport services cannot?
Here are some of the ways that Lyft is transforming corporate travel in a positive way:
- Cuts down the cost of business travel (i.e. less expensive than taxis)
- Business travel dashboard integrated with business travel management solutions
- Rides on demand, which saves a lot of time and hassle
- Better customer service ratings on a variety of online platforms
- Consistent user experience, no matter where your corporate travelers are
- Event services that ensure reliable travel to any conference or event.
Where Lyft Falls Short
Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a ride-sharing app or service such as Lyft for corporate travel. One of the main issues is surge pricing. When there is a period of high demand, the price for Lyft transport can spike or sometimes double. This can be an issue, as it makes it difficult to predict, plan and budget for travel expenses.
Also, it’s important to consider that although Lyft provides liability insurance for their drivers, this still means that the business might be liable for some costs in an accident – depending on the regulations of the particular city. On the flipside, there are always hidden costs and liabilities in renting cars or using taxis. Either way, this needs to be taken into account when considering the viability of these services.
It also takes time and effort to update the corporate travel policy to include services such as this. However, it is certainly worth it if these services are more beneficial than their alternatives.
The Bottom Line
A travel ride-sharing service such as Lyft has the potential to transform corporate travel and make it much easier for companies to move their employees from Point A to Point B. It’s overall much more seamless to the end user, adding a layer of convenience and cost-effectiveness that its alternatives cannot match.
As with any new business decision, you should take the time to determine whether or not a service like Lyft fits into your corporate travel policy. Poll your employees to assess their level of comfort with such services. Ask other companies if they use Lyft or another ride-sharing service and, if so, how they like it.
When it comes to planning cost effective and smooth corporate travel, the team here at Travelers Q can offer some valuable insight as well. We can also provide recommendations for other apps and services that may help your business perform better. Contact us any time to learn more!.
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