Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Connectivity

This Is How Americans Really Feel About Uber and Lyft

A new report shows that 15 percent of Americans have used ride-hailing services, but more than twice as many have never heard of them.

If you follow technology news, you’re likely to see a headline about Uber or ride-hailing apps just about every day. But despite their popularity, just 15 percent of Americans have hitched a ride, according to a new report, and 33 percent of the country has never even heard of Uber or Lyft.

A survey of over 4,700 American adults conducted by the Pew Research Center and released Thursday represents the most detailed look yet at how the country uses ride-hailing services, and Americans’ attitudes toward them. The report paints a picture of a nation sharply divided by geography, income, and age.

As one might expect, users tend to be young, well-educated, and live in urban centers. But the numbers are stark: 29 percent of college graduates have used a ride-hailing service, while just 6 percent of people who have a high school diploma or less can say the same. Usage is also heavily skewed toward the affluent: a quarter of people with incomes above $75,000 were users, as opposed to 10 percent of people who earned $30,000 or less. And usage in rural areas was almost nonexistent, with just 3 percent of respondents counting themselves as users (the survey revealed no discernable differences in usage across racial or gender lines).

Perhaps the most intriguing finding was in how usage affected people’s attitudes toward the services. The rise of Uber and Lyft has provoked a heated debate over the companies’ labor practices, as well as contention over whether they should be regulated in the same way as taxi services.

The report found that users were much more likely than non-users to say that the services should not be regulated like taxi companies. That’s perhaps unsurprising, but it remained true despite users’ political leanings: 48 percent of people who identified as political liberals—a demographic that typically favors regulation of business practices—said a flexible approach to regulation was most appropriate, compared to just 30 percent who said the services should be subject to the same laws as taxis.

(Read more: Pew Research Center, Washington Post, Vox)

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.
More from Connectivity

What it means to be constantly connected with each other and vast sources of information.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.