Uber and Lyft thriving in a Baton Rouge

When his girlfriend’s car recently broke down, Baton Rouge resident Logan Anderson lent her his vehicle to drive to work while he took advantage of the city’s ride-hailing options.

“Because I live fairly close to work, I was able to say, ‘We don’t need to rent a car. You just take mine, and I’ll Uber to and from work,” Anderson tells Business Report in a new feature in the current issue.

He’s one of a growing number of people across Baton Rouge who’ve begun turning to Uber or Lyft, not only on weekend nights out, but also for daily commutes. Anderson, the policy and research project manager at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, says he even has a colleague who doesn’t own a car, lives downtown and often takes an Uber to work.

“At first people were attracted to the novelty,” says Anderson, “but now Uber and Lyft are starting to become a normalized part of people’s lives.”

It certainly hasn’t always been this way. Three years ago, before any ride-hailing apps existed in Baton Rouge, being without a vehicle posed a much bigger problem if you had somewhere to be, especially in city with limited public transit options.

That explains why Baton Rouge was eager to welcome Uber in the summer of 2014. Since then, ride-hailing has become so popular that by January of this year, Uber’s rival company Lyft made its Baton Rouge debut.

Today, in a city rife with transportation issues, Uber and Lyft are offering some needed relief. Along with keeping drunk drivers off the roads, ride-hailing services are becoming ingrained into everyday routines and improving Baton Rouge’s quality of life. And the industry still has room to grow as Uber and Lyft reach beyond their core demographic—young people—to older generations catching onto the trend.

“Uber’s goal is to ensure anyone, anywhere can push a button and get a ride within minutes,” says Evangeline George, a company spokeswoman. “The Baton Rouge community has embraced Uber since our launch three years ago, with residents counting on the app to connect with both safe rides and flexible work opportunities. In coming years, we look forward to becoming even more a part of the city’s fabric.”

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