Uber and Lyft have been going head to head for domination in the ride-sharing industry in the U.S., and the tides were turning briefly as riders reacted quickly to news related to both companies’ political views. New data reveals that Uber customers have been switching to Lyft since the end of January, and it all seems to be related to PR.
Lyft’s customer base grows
According to 1010data, Lyft has enjoyed a 7% lift in its customer base since Jan. 29 after the company’s cofounder emailed their customers to announce a $1 million donation to the ACLU. That donation will be spread over the next four years, and it’s aimed to be a political protest against the Trump administration’s new immigration rules.
The big data analytics company said this week that Uber has averaged an 86% share of rides since 2014, although Lyft has been growing faster. However, since Jan. 29, Lyft has been stealing Uber’s customers.
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Lyft is stealing riders
According to 1010data, Lyft’s share of the ride-sharing market in the U.S. jumped in late January, matching a sudden decline for its bigger competitor.
Looking at users instead of rides, the firm found that Uber and Lyft saw similar trends in user growth in January and February. However, there is a convergence after Jan. 29 as Lyft’s user base was a greater proportion than usual the week after that date.
The firm adds that 81% of the new Lyft customers who previously used Uber stopped using Uber after Jan. 29. Looking at the totals, Lyft added 3% more customers because the riders left Uber, according to the firm.
Uber’s problems also helped Lyft
Although 1010data looked purely at the ACLU donation, Uber also was impacted by its own issues related to the immigration ban which occurred around the same time. Lyft topped its bigger competitor in Apple downloads for the first time in late January amid the #DeleteUber campaign, which was triggered by comments made by the CEO Travis Kalanick.
He voiced support for President Trump at a time of heightened political sensitivity as Trump attempted to enact his notorious so-called Muslim ban, which attempted to keep travelers from several Muslim-majority countries out of the U.S. The company was quick to attempt damage control, saying that Kalanick doesn’t support all of the president’s policies. He condemned the Muslim ban in a statement shortly after his comments enraged users, and then he quit Trump’s advisory council.
The ride-sharing service was also probably impacted by a blog post from a former female employee who alleged that she experienced severe sexism and harassment while working there.