According to a recent study, ride-hailing trips with Uber and Lyft result in an estimated 69 percent more climate pollution on average than the trips they displace.
The Verge reports that a recent study from the Union of Concerned Scientists alleges that ride-hailing trips today produce 69 percent more climate pollution on average than the trips they displace. In cities, most ride-hailing trips are displacing low-carbon trips such as public transportation, biking, and walking. The group recommended that Uber and Lyft could reduce the amount of emissions with a more concerted effort to electrify its fleet of vehicles.
“However, those strategies alone will address neither the increases in vehicle miles traveled nor rising congestion concerns,” the report says. “For ride-hailing to contribute to better climate and congestion outcomes, trips must be pooled and electric, displace single-occupancy car trips more often, and encourage low-emissions modes such as mass transit, biking, and walking.”
Uber and Lyft have both claimed they are reducing their carbon footprint, so far the companies have introduced bike and scooter sharing services, integrated public transportation scheduling and ticketing into their respective apps, and incentive programs to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles. However, the vast majority of trips made via Uber and Lyft are still in gas-burning vehicles.
An Uber spokesperson said in a statement:
We want Uber to be a part of the solution to address climate change by working with cities to help create a low carbon transportation future. To unlock the opportunities we have to reduce emissions, we will continue to invest in products and advocate for policies that reduce car ownership, promote more pooled trips and support greater adoption of bikes, scooters, green vehicles and the use of public transit.
Lyft, however, dismissed the report as “misleading,” saying in a statement:
This report, like many before it, makes misleading claims about rideshare. Lyft encourages the use of shared rides, was the first rideshare company to put public transit information into our app, and last year, made one of the largest single deployments of electric vehicles in the nation. We are eager to continue this work in partnership with cities, to advance shared, sustainable transportation.
Read more at the Verge here.