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Uber’s market share has taken a big hit

Customers seem to care about the company’s ongoing troubles.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

The past year has been a PR nightmare for Uber, as the ride-sharing company has committed all sorts of blunders — legal and otherwise. Uber has been accused of sexual harassment, stealing trade secrets and profiteering off protests.

But do customers care? It seems so.

Since the beginning of 2014, Uber has gone from owning 91 percent* of the U.S. ride-sharing market down to 74.3 percent as of this month, according to data from Second Measure, a research firm that tracks billions of dollars in anonymized credit card purchases.

And its biggest rival, Lyft, has been the main benefactor.

Uber versus Lyft market share over time from Second Measure

The biggest decrease in Uber’s market share happened during the week of Jan. 30, when the #deleteUber campaign was in full swing. Customers wielded the hashtag against the company for trying to profit during a protest against Trump’s Muslim ban that included a strike by New York City’s taxi union.

That week, Uber’s market share dropped 5 percentage points compared with the previous week, from 81 percent to 76 percent, according to Second Measure data. Lyft’s market share gained about the same amount that week. Other ride-sharing companies, including Gett and Juno, saw a nominal increase that week.

Of course, Lyft’s gains could simply result from it making better business decisions and putting pressure on its beleaguered rival. Lyft announced Thursday that it’s now available statewide in 40 states, up from eight. Uber is available in about 250 U.S. cities. Lyft’s prices, marketing and the way it treats its drivers could also have affected market share.

Fortunately for Uber, its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi seems to want to leave the drama of former CEO Travis Kalanick behind him. We’ll see if consumers buy it.

*Uber’s data includes UberEats transactions, which have historically appeared as regular Uber purchases on credit card billing, so its market share is slightly overrepresented.

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