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Even if you've never taken a ride with Uber or Lyft, their explosive growth is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, the data shows that explosive growth is also leading to more global warming emissions and urban congestion. Thankfully, there is a solution.
A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that an electric, pooled ride-hailing trip can cut global warming emissions by an estimated 79 percent compared with a non-pooled, non-electric ride-hailing trip. Uber and Lyft need to step up to make sure increased ride pooling and electric vehicle options are more widely available.
Tell the CEOs of Uber and Lyft to take decisive action to reduce global warming emissions from ride-hailing services and accelerate their company's efforts to electrify vehicles, dramatically increase ride pooling, complement and connect to public transit, and steer ride-hailing toward a clean transportation future.
To: CEOs of Lyft and Uber
I am writing to you today because I am very concerned that ride-hailing services, like those provided by your company, are contributing to increasing global warming emissions and urban congestion. The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution, and it is vital that new mobility companies are part of a low-carbon future.
The explosive growth of your company is not only increasing emissions and congestion, but also replacing less-polluting transportation options such as mass transit, walking, and biking.
According to "Ride-Hailing's Climate Risks: Steering a Growing Industry toward a Clean Transportation Future," a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a regular ride-hailing trip can result in nearly 70 percent more climate pollution, on average, than the trips they displace. This analysis also shows that an electric, pooled ride-hailing trip can cut emissions by about 68 percent compared with a private vehicle trip in the average car, or about 79 percent compared with a non-pooled regular ride-hailing trip.
As a CEO of a ride-hailing company, you have the power to implement several strategies for your company to address the negative impacts of ride-hailing and contribute to a low-carbon transportation future. While you've already taken some small steps forward, there's more to be done.
While I appreciate the convenience of your service, I urge you to take ambitious steps now to support drivers in rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles used for your services, to dramatically increase pooled trips, and to further complement and connect to mass transit rather than compete with it. I also urge you to collaborate with local and state governments to support low-carbon ride-hailing policies to speed the transition to clean and equitable mobility services.
As the climate crisis becomes even more urgent, it is more important than ever for the ride-hailing industry to contribute to a lower carbon, more sustainable transportation system. Please take decisive action to accelerate your efforts on electric vehicles, ride pooling, and complementing transit, and steer your company toward a clean transportation future.