Uber taxi app wins the hearts of US Congress members in 2014 midterm elections

Guy Bentley
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As taxi app service Uber continues to soar in popularity it's finding support among a group not usually known for their embrace of disruptive businesses with a hostility to onerous regulation.

In the recent US midterm elections, Uber accounted for 61 per cent of rides taken by members of Congress and their staff. An impressive rise considering Uber's share of the market in the 2010 election cycle was zero.

It's not just that Uber is on the rise for low dollar rides in campaigns, congressional rides overall have risen a whopping 84 per cent since 2010. The research carried out by Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS) only looked at rides that cost under $100.

In 2012, there were only 100 Uber trips in that price range, but this year it soared to 2,800, overtaking regular taxis in both numbers and the amount of money spent. Furthermore, the analysis didn't include the final two months of the campaign, so the rise of Uber could be even greater than these numbers suggest.

The increase in popularity of Uber amongst lawmakers may have important consequences for the future not just of taxi apps but the sharing economy in general.

HPS commented on the research:

The trend we see in Congress is likely representative of local dynamics where regulators are also becoming consumers and adopters in this new part of the economy.

This not the only win Uber has had in the world of US politics. Back in August, Uber hired David Plouffe, a political heavyweight and close confidante of President Obama.

If lawmakers continue to embrace the peer-to-peer economy themselves, perhaps they will be a little more hesitant before passing regulations that may hinder their growth or very existence.

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