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Are Ride Sharing Apps Cutting Into Car Sales?

Few of us can imagine our lives without ride sharing apps. They offer an easy, virtually hassle-free way to get to where you need to be. And the momentum behind heavyweights Uber and Lyft shows no signs of slowing down.

But could these go-to apps cut into car sales? According to Lyft, it’s possible.

Lyft Off

In its 2017 Economic Impact Report 2017, the company said nearly 250,000 of its riders ditched owning a personal car last year, opting instead to use ride-hailing services.

Lyft is reporting it gave 375.5 million rides in 2017 — a hefty 130 percent growth measured year-over-year. It served 23 million different passengers, and had 1.4 million drivers on the platform — 100 percent growth over its total for 2016.

Over half of its users also reported they drive their own car less because of Lyft’s service, and 25 percent say they don’t think owning a car is as important anymore.

Even if car sales may wane somewhat down the line, neighborhood businesses are seeing a boost. Lyft reports its passengers spend an additional $750 million in local economies, with 60 percent reporting they’re now exploring hard-to-reach areas of their city and 70 percent saying they’re able to go out more often and stay out longer. Let’s face it — no one wants to spend precious time on a date night scouring the streets for parking.

The Future of Rides

On a forward-thinking note, Lyft found its riders’ attitudes are generally favorable toward self-driving vehicles and their use: 83 percent of Lyft passengers surveyed by the company said they’d be open to hailing and riding in a self-driving vehicle once such vehicles are available.

While it’s too soon to say if ride sharing apps will ultimately cut into car sales, it’s an interesting development to watch. Transportation is constantly evolving — and this is a fascinating time to be along for the ride.

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