3 Reasons to Add Rideshare to Your Travel Policy

AAA Corporate Travel 7/8/20

AAA World Article

Today utilizing a rideshare service is a given. It’s an accepted and much-used option for personal use as well as business travel. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are leading the charge and even the business travel tool Concur Expense integrates with Uber. But if you haven’t incorporated rideshare into your travel policy, here are three reasons why you should consider adding it.

REASON 1: Travelers use rideshare
If employees are going to use Uber or Lyft when they travel for business, you need to provide guidelines in your travel policy. The more you can help employees understand when rideshare makes sense (or not) will give everyone parameters within to operate.

For instance, using Uber may not be the best option if a traveler will be making several stops or traveling long distances. A rental car fits this need much better. But if the traveler is flying into a city and staying in an urban area with high parking fees, utilizing a rideshare service could be the better option from a cost and ease perspective.

Outlining the right situations for rideshare is key. And offering options to accommodate travelers’ needs is another way to encourage travel policy compliance. A study done by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) showed 75% of respondents believe improvements to traveler service can improve compliance because it can change travelers’ behavior.

REASON 2: Duty of Care
It’s a legal obligation under Duty of Care to know where employees are when they are traveling for work. Uber and Lyft both have corporate programs with access to a dashboard which tracks when and where an employee was picked up and dropped off. Employers have complete transparency to their traveling employee’s whereabouts.

What about the personal safety of travelers of using rideshare you might ask?

Today, rideshare companies have put safety practices and programs into place. They’ve stepped up their GPS tracking of rides, vetting of drivers (who also have to maintain a minimum rating to remain part of the program) and even have 24/7 emergency numbers for riders to call if anything seems amiss.

And companies like Safr are built on being a safe rideshare option for women. They offer women drivers and deep background checks and vetting.

Also not every country is as safe for travelers in terms of rideshare so your travel policy should specify which countries rideshare is allowed and the type of vehicle that’s acceptable to ride in.

And advise travelers to use the “Share my ETA” in the Uber app so they can check in with your travel manager or coworkers during travel. More information on this feature can be found here.

REASON 3: Save your company money
At the end of the day, your company wants to save money where it makes sense. And rideshare definitely has some benefits for cost savings.

For instance, Concur Expense integrates with Uber and Lyft. Unlike using a cab and paying cash for a ride, your employees don’t have to keep up with receipts and you can know exactly where travelers went. No guesswork, lost receipts or confusion. It streamlines another process for you, which is a timesaver, too.

Also, there are plenty of times when rideshare is more efficient. If your company has an offsite event and charters a coach service to shuttle employees to the event, rideshare is probably a better option now. Why? Because it’s going to be more convenient and less expensive. And with rideshare corporate programs, you can even reserve the cars you need in advance, or provide clients and employees with vouchers for rides.

What if you have travelers who live close to an airport? Using rideshare is going to make more sense than having them use their personal vehicle and paying to park that vehicle for days or weeks when traveling.

Many rideshare companies also offer corporate accounts that provide protection against those moments when prices surge because of high demand. And often discounts can apply when you reach a certain number of rides taken.

It’s important that travelers understand how to use the apps or booking tools necessary for rideshare. Consider hosting training sessions to teach travelers the ins and outs of your approved tools.

A few items to cover might include:
  • Tell travelers to always input their final destination into Uber so the driver will not take them on a more costly route
  • Inform travelers about the different ride levels, which often vary by city (Uber POOL and UberXL for instance), and discuss which ones they should and should not use.

Bottomline: Rideshare is here to stay

At AAA, our recommendation for our clients is this:
  • Make rideshare a specific part of your travel policy.
  • Negotiate a business relationship with Uber for Business, Lyft Business, or other similar programs in cities where ridesharing is more cost-effective than taxis and other forms of ground transportation, or where it makes sense. Your AAA Account Manager can provide guidance on this.
The benefits you’ll see:
  • Better visibility into all of your travel expenses so you can track, analyze and make more informed decisions based on more accurate data.
  • Happier travelers based on the ease and convenience of options like Uber and Lyft.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on rideshare and how you’ve incorporated it – or not—into your travel program and policy.

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