Analysis: Uber top car service on campaign trail

Congressional campaigns paid for at least 2,800 Uber rides in the 2014 election cycle, according to an analysis released Tuesday by consulting firm Hamilton Place Strategies, topping taxis and other car services.


Taxis, limousines and car rentals under $100 accounted for about 1,800 rides — a drop of nearly 1,000 since the 2012 cycle. 

The analysis of Federal Election Commission data shows the explosive growth of the ride-sharing company in the past few years, and the toll it has taken on other car services. Uber was founded in 2009, starting in San Francisco and gradually expanding to markets across the U.S. and abroad. It currently operates in about 120 cities nationwide. 

In 2012, Uber only accounted for about 100 campaign-related rides, while taxis and other car services tallied 2,800. In 2010, taxis and other services accounted for about 2,500 rides. 

"Uber has undoubtedly caused disruption to the status quo of ride services," according to the analysis. "In the last cycle Uber had no significant market share, but today they exceed 60 percent of the ride services market for congressional campaign committees."

The firm analyzed FEC records and compared the number of Uber rides to other car services, including taxis, limousines, rentals and others. It counted only rides that were less than $100 in order to avoid taking into account larger ground transportation like buses or coaches. 

About $112,000 was spent on these kinds of rides this cycle, according to the analysis. The average rate per ride of Uber or other services was at $24 this cycle, similar to cycles past. 

The consulting firm does not work for Uber or have an affiliation with the company, according to the report's author, Tom Kise.