A growing Uber demand sees it drive past stable usage for traditional taxis to become Australia’s preferred mode of private transport

A greater proportion of Australians are now using Uber (22.9%) compared to traditional taxis (21.8%), according to latest research from consumer, industry and market research company, Roy Morgan. This is the first data to reveal that taxis are no longer the preferred private transport service of Australians.

The findings from a survey of face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year found that 22.9% of Australians over the age of 14 are now user Uber, versus 21.8% for traditional taxis.

Uber has experienced a “dramatic rise in popularity” over the past three years. The proportion of Australians utilising the service in an average three-month period has increased from 6.6% (1.3 million) of the population, to 22.9% (4.7 million), an increase of 16.3% points (+ 3.4 million), says Roy Morgan. But, at the same time it identifies the proportion of Australians using taxis has remained relatively steady in recent years, dropping only slightly from 24.4% (4.8 million) to 21.8% (4.5 million).

CHART – A graphical look at the percentage of Australians who use Uber and taxis in an average three month period clearly highlights the changing dynamics of the marketSource: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2015 – June 2019. Rolling 12-month quarterly figures based on an average of 14,733 interviews of Australians aged 14+a year

This suggests that rather than competing with the traditional offer, Uber is complementing it, appealing to a whole new market of technologically wired users. It is no surprise to learn that the Roy Morgan research on customers by age group, shows the rising popularity of Uber being driven by younger Australians.

A total of 42.6% (1 million) of those aged 18-24, and 35.7% (1.3 million) of those aged 25-34, used Uber in an average three-month period. These two age groups account for almost half (2.3 million out of the 4.7 million) of all the Australians who use Uber in an average three-month period.

The usage of Uber differs markedly across age groups, identifies the Roy Morgan research. While younger Australians are Uber’s best customers, Australians aged 65+ had the lowest proportion (6.6%) of Uber usage among them.

In comparison taxi usage is found to be far more consistent across age groups. Those aged 35-49 had the highest proportion of taxi usage (25.3%), with 14-17 years old’s recording the lowest (14.8%).

“Young Australians aged between 18-34 years old are Uber’s largest customer base. As these younger, more tech-friendly generations take up a greater proportion of the population, Uber is likely to continue to rise in popularity,” says Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.

When looking at Uber users within specific locations, Perth has the highest Uber usage of any capital city in Australia, with 32.1% of residents having recently used one. This is followed by Melbourne (31.8%) and Sydney (29.1%). The research has even enabled Roy Morgan to develop deeper personas for Australian Uber and taxi users.

Some of its observations include that Uber users are far more likely than the average Australian to be in Generation Y and Generation Z, to be in its ‘Young Optimism’ and ‘Socially Aware’ value segments, and to be in a ‘Young Single’ or ‘Young Couple’ household life cycle.

Compared with the average Australian, Uber users are 144% more likely to have recently snowboarded, 43% more likely to be more interested in their job than their house, and 35% more likely to have recently been to the cinema. When it comes to health and fitness, 82% of Uber users report feeling well and in good health, almost half (46%) are concerned about their sugar intake, and 30% love doing as many sports as possible.