Uber’s U.S. Business Is Recovering After Scandals, Report Says

But the company still isn’t doing well.

byStephen Edelstein|
Car Tech photo

A series of scandals, from January's #DeleteUber debacle to questions about illicit software, to the toppling of CEO Travis Kalanick, has left Uber battered and on the defensive. But the ride-hailing company's U.S. business may be showing signs of recovery, according to new data.

Uber's business grew by more than 15 percent between March and September, according to credit card analytics company Second Measure. That went a long way toward gaining back some of the ground lost when more than 400,000 users deleted their accounts during #DeleteUber, which was sparked by what many viewed as an insensitive response to protests of President Donald Trump's proposed immigration ban.

But Uber's business has grown at a much slower pace than rival Lyft, notes Recode. Lyft remains smaller than Uber, but its business increased 33 percent between March and September. The company expanded into more than 160 new cities this year, although it reportedly hasn't turned a profit in the U.S.

Lyft's share of the market has grown slightly since January, from 20 percent to 22 percent. Uber still controls 74 percent of the U.S. ride-hailing market, but that's a 10-percent decrease from last year. Since ride hailing is only expected to grow in popularity, both companies stand to increase their business in the coming years. But as the market stabilizes, Uber and Lyft will have to compete more aggressively, since data indicates that most customers stick with one service or the other, instead of using both.

Under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has worked to address some of the criticism it has received over the past few months. The company is implementing new support services and a new fare structure it believes will benefit drivers. But Uber still has a long way to go.

The company still faces criminal investigations related to its use of software to circumvent government regulators and track drivers working for Lyft, and is fighting a lawsuit from Waymo, which alleges Uber used stolen self-driving car tech. Meanwhile, Uber faces increased competition not only from Lyft, but from upstart rivals like Asian firm Grab.