Look out, Lyft. Uber is ready to compete in Shreveport.
After Lyft having a few months head start, Uber has agreed to Shreveport’s requirements and pricing structure and has applied for a license to operate with the City of Shreveport, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The city could sign the agreement as soon as this weekend, meaning Uber would be arriving just in time for mardi gras.
While the application is being approved, it is interesting to think about how this changes the game yet again for Shreveport transportation and nightlife – as it has for cities across the globe. For example, just last month, a study by the University of Kansas revealed that services like Uber and Lyft are directly tied to lower ambulance usage – around 7% in cities where they are operating. An independent study in New York showed that alcohol-related collisions dropped between 25 and 35% likely due to rideshare availability. Sometime later this year, the city should have enough data to analyze from Lyft and Uber’s time in town to see if there are similar correlations in Shreveport.
It will also be interesting to see how the addition of Uber will change how the services will battle for market share. So far, Lyft has done very little advertising to potential users in traditional media – relying on word of mouth and earned press – instead choosing to focus on advertising to potential drivers using social media and search engine advertising. Local nightlife and entertainment businesses have lamented the lack of advertising to riders which would remind people that they don’t have to make the choice between partying with libations and arriving home safely, thus encouraging people to go out and spend money.
The new dynamic of competition now imminent (let’s face it, the taxis still aren’t up to the challenge), Shreveport could soon see a phalanx of Lyft and Uber ads across the city as the two rideshare apps duke it out for your business.