With the growing attraction of ride-sharing companies, like Uber, for business travelers, there is a need from the transportation industry to gain insight into how business travelers get around and what they expect from their preferred modes of travel.

Recently, we teamed up with the Global Business Traveler Association and a leading ground transportation industry operator to sponsor an in-depth survey to shed some light on this issue.

The GBTA Foundation’s 2015 Ground Transportation Study results are in. What we learned is a mix of results consistent with industry trends and some not-so-predictable findings.

Preferred Modes of Transportation: Rentals remain popular, and ride-sharing is rising. Thirty-six percent of business travelers prefer to rent cars during out-of-town trips, making rental vehicles the number one mode of ground transportation among traveling professionals. Close behind rental vehicles are taxis—24% of those surveyed said they preferred to call a cab. Thirteen percent of travelers chose chauffeured transportation, while 11% depended on (still relatively new and controversial) real-time ride-sharing services.

Important Factors: According to 75% of travelers and 80% of travel buyers surveyed, the most important deciding factors in choosing which form of ground transportation to use are traveler and vehicle safety, timeliness and convenient payment systems. That doesn’t surprise us: our executive protection services, early arrival policy and online reservation system are tailored to years of similar customer feedback.

Duty of Care Familiarity: Although safety is among the most important deciding factors, most buyers and travelers may not be familiar with the full extent of duty of care aspects. Only one-third of those surveyed identified themselves as “somewhat” familiar with ground transportation providers’ duty of care towards their clients, while less than one-quarter said that they were “very familiar” with the duty of care.

Ride-Sharing Company Controversy: We found this interesting: one out of four business travelers report that their companies won’t permit them to use ride-sharing companies. Michael McCormick, the GBTA’s executive director and COO, issued a statement confirming that ride-sharing is the transportation mode most frequently prohibited by corporate travel buyers.

The fact that, according to McCormick, “a large number” of companies have not adopted policies addressing ride-sharing, coupled with widespread unfamiliarity with the duty of care, suggests that there is a need for stronger education initiatives surrounding these controversial companies.

For an in-depth report on the survey, visit the GBTA’s website.

Photo Credit: The Wandering Angel via flickr