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July 28, 2015

GBTA Conference: Ground Transportation in a Sharing Economy




Rental cars (36 percent) and taxis (24 percent) are the most commonly used methods of ground transportation for business trips followed by chauffeured transportation (13 percent) and ride-sharing companies (11 percent) according to a new study from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.

This new study was discussed today in a panel session that focused on the future of ground transportation in a sharing economy at the GBTA Convention 2015, currently underway in Orlando, FL. It included perceptions from business travelers and travel buyers to understand how the changing environment of ground transportation has affected traveler decisions and corporate travel policy.

“Our research shows one in four (24 percent) travel buyers say their company does not allow their business travelers to use ride-sharing companies, by far the highest percentage for any form of ground transportation,” GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said in a statement when the survey results were announced. “In addition, a large number of companies still have not adopted policies around ride-sharing companies, revealing a need for education about the benefits and the risks. GBTA hopes this study is the start to closing that knowledge gap and we welcome an open and constructive dialogue on this topic.”

The 2015 Ground Transportation Study, sponsored by Dav El/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network and Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, also identified the most important factors business travelers and travel buyers consider when choosing ground transportation. Topping the list was traveler and vehicle safety, availability for a timely pick-up and convenience of payments methods with three-quarters of business travelers and eight in ten travel buyers calling these factors highly important.

While safety of travelers was paramount, awareness of specific aspects of duty of care is not universal. Only about one-third of business travelers are at least somewhat familiar with all aspects such as pre-employment driver certification, driver training requirements, and regulations affecting each ground transportation method. Travel buyers are more familiar with most of the duty of care aspects than business travelers, but less than a quarter are very familiar with all of them showing education is necessary to inform them of the differences between ground transportation methods.

“Undoubtedly, there is significant market controversy around ride sharing and we felt it was important to have impartial research to create awareness in the industry,” said David Seelinger, Chairman and CEO, EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services.

“In customer dealings, we find that duty of care is such a critical issue that we needed research that will help us better understand the impact of ride sharing on buyers and their corporations,” said Scott Solombrino, President & CEO, Dav El/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network.

The study, 2015 Ground Transportation Study: Perceptions of Travel Managers and Business Travelers in this Changing Industry, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org.


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