Uber Introduces UberPool to Reduce Single Occupancy Vehicles

Uber to cut pollution via TED talk with Travis Kalanick
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Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and CEO of Uber, talks to us in his TED talk about the future of human-driven transportation and about how we can cut pollution, congestion, and parking by getting more people into fewer cars.

After covering the “New York Jitney” which was essentially the first Uber over 100 years before Uber started in 2010, Travis discusses how the future of transportation could have already been here, starting with the Jitney.

By 1919, the Jitney was out of service. Car ownership then sky-rocketed, and by 2007 there was a car for every man, woman and child in the United States. In the US, 7 billion hours are spent every year sitting in traffic, which then contributes to one-fifth of our carbon footprint on earth.

The beginning of Uber in 2010 was to simply push a button and get a ride; ultimately, what Uber started to see was a lot of duplicate rides. A lot of people were pushing the same button at the same time, heading in the same direction. This was the birth of UberPool – a carpool service that allows carshare riders to split the drive between 2 or more members. This led to more people getting around the city in fewer vehicles, leading to taking 7.9 million miles off the roads and 1.4 thousand metric tons of CO2 out of the air.

UberPool is a great solution for urban carpooling. But what about the suburbs?

Pending regulations, UberCommute is the next program for Uber to roll out that turns suburban commuter cars into shared cars, allowing members to become Uber drivers and matching them up with neighbours who are heading in the same direction to work.

Kalanick’s enlightening question throughout his TED talk: do we have to wait years to cut pollution with the technology in our pockets today?

At movmi, we agree that bylaws can be stiff and could benefit from an adjustment, and we certainly stand by the goal to have more people traveling together to ultimately move away from single occupancy vehicles to lessen pollution and congestion. 

If you are interested in learning more about cutting transportation pollution or want to discuss more, please contact us.

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