One Third of Americans Have Never Heard of Uber or Lyft

Clearly, The Drive has some work to do.

byWill Sabel CourtneyMay 20, 2016 4:16 PM
One Third of Americans Have Never Heard of Uber or Lyft

Here's a stat that might make you spit your Friday latte all over your desk: According to a new study, a full 33 percent of American adults have never heard of ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft.

The survey, conducted by the venerable Pew Research Center, also found that only 15 percent of grown-up Americans have ever used one of the two largest app-based ride-sharing services. Let us repeat that: More than twice as many people in this country have never heard of Uber or Lyft as have actually used them.

The ridership statistics aren't all that surprising. After all, as much as those of us at The Drive depend on those magical apps when we don't have access to press cars (or when we're enjoying adult beverages at one of New York City's 10,000 bars and restaurants), we understand that ride-sharing, much like the traditional taxis that preceded them, tends to be an urban phenomenon. Pew's data bears that out; while 21 percent of city slickers polled said they'd taken an Uber or Lyft, only 3 percent of rural residents said they'd used the services.

The rest of the data about ride-sharing users tended to fall neatly in line with the usual stereotypes about tech-savvy urban dwellers. While ridership was pretty evenly split between men and woman, and white, black, and Latino respondents, young people, well-educated people, and well-to-do people were all much more likely to have used Uber or Lyft than other groups.

Still, considering the relentless media coverage around UberLyft, and other ride-sharing technologies and services, it's hard to believe the one-third of respondents who claim they've never even heard of these companies. Then again, maybe it seems that way because we write about cars and live in New York City, and we're just really self-centered.

On second thought...naaaaaaaaaaah.