- The Straits Times
When it comes to ride-hailing options, business travellers around the world feel slightly safer in taxis than in ride-sharing services, says a recent study.
Based on research published on Thursday (Jun 28) by global travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), approximately two in five (39%) business travellers surveyed said they feel somewhat or very vulnerable about personal safety in ride-sharing services, compared to 36% for taxis.
Survey data, according to CWT, was compiled from over 2,000 business travellers from 17 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacifc. Respondents polled were required to have made more than four business trips within the past 12 months to participate in the study.
Asia-Pacific business travellers, in particular, were observed to be the most concerned demographic. Among this group of respondents, 43% feel worried using ride-sharing whereas 39% feel the same for taxis.
To put this into perspective, 40% of business travellers in the Americas express worry about ride-sharing services while 39% feel unsafe in taxis. In Europe, the figures are 34% and 28% respectively.
Singaporean business travellers were identified as the most likely to feel unsafe when using ride-sharing services, with the gap in perceived risk between ride-sharing services and taxis wider than the global and regional averages.
While nearly half (48%) of Singapore respondents feel insecure about taxis, almost three in five (58%) expressed concern about ride-sharing.
- Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Bindu Bhatia, CWT’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, said: “In cities across the globe, using ride-sharing services has become a way of life. The familiar and convenient experience they provide has made them a preferred mode of transport for many business travellers.”
“Still, one continues to hear about safety incidents surrounding ride-sharing services around the world, which might explain in part why some travellers are worried about using them,” added Bhatia.
For ride-hailing services in general, female travellers in Europe and Asia-Pacific have a greater tendency to feel apprehensive about personal safety than men.
More than half (56%) of Asia-Pacific women feel either very or somewhat nervous about ride-sharing versus 38% of men. For taxis, it is 48% versus 35% respectively.
With regards to age, findings showed that although ride-sharing is more commonly associated with the younger generation, these travellers – notably in all regions – are the most concerned about personal safety.
Half of millennial travellers (ages 24 to 34) in Asia-Pacific are either very or somewhat concerned when engaging ride-share services, followed by 44% of Gen X (ages 35 to 51) and 35% of baby boomers (ages 52 to 65). A similar trend was observed in the Americas and Europe.
According to the research, gender could be the main cause of the differences. While older males are more likely to travel for business, it is the complete opposite for female business travellers who are more likely to travel for similar purposes when they are younger.
As traveller safety and the legality of ride-sharing services in various markets remain challenges and concerns to corporate travel programmes, companies would likely adopt different kinds of corporate travel policies.
“Ride-sharing services may be right for some corporate travel programmes but not for others,” said Bhatia.
“Whether the sharing economy is a good fit for a company will depend on their company culture, their traveller demographics and their risk management policies, among other things.”
Bhatia advised companies to create travel policies with proper parameters on when, how and whether their travelling employees can use ride-sharing services while emphasising the need for clear communication.