We all know that vehicles are terrible contaminators for our environment. However, its hard to envision our lifestyles without them in many situations. For the past 5 years, Uber (among other car-sharing apps and services) has taken over urban streets and has proven that there are smarter ways we can drive and get around to places without it being an inconvenience. The innovation of car-sharing is a godsend these days for millennials as well as a great urban sustainability resource due to its various impacts:
Environmental: Rather than constantly circling around blocks to hunt down a hailing arm like how taxis do, Uber uses a specialized software system that avoids the time spent and gas used for bringing in customers. Instead, customers can request a car that is driving to an area nearby without needing to walk around and meet with one directly. Also, one of Uber’s greatest tools is their carpool (UberPOOL) option which combines two rides for two customers and gets two jobs done at once which additionally saves time, money and gas emissions from being emitted into our air.
Economic: Due to its time saving tactics, this saves riders an average of half the money they would spend for a normal taxi. Also, for those who can’t work generic jobs for circumstantial reasons or need an extra source of income in order to make ends meet, driving with Uber is an excellent job option that provides flexibility, independence, and convenience for employees who have spare time between odd hours.
Social equity: Unfortunately, taxi drivers have had bad experiences with clients from poor neighborhoods, like many on the south side of Chicago. Because of this, they have avoided selected sketchy areas and would decline providing services for those needing to be picked up or dropped off there. With Uber, things have drastically changed in this matter. Uber drivers can be spotted in all types of areas on their mobile app’s map and make it easy for those living in low-income areas get picked up regardless of their location’s whereabouts. Similarly, global countries that didn’t have taxi options for local citizens because of cost factors are able to make ride-sharing available now that Uber has expanded their services internationally. In addition, drivers with disabilities or personal issues are less likely to be turned down a driving job due to their existing condition (as long as they are capable of driving safely and appropriately) making employment more equitable for their sake.
Energy: Personally, I have noticed a large portion of Uber vehicles be hybrids or electric-powered cars. Knowing that they will be using their car(s) for service-sharing purposes that add on a lot of mileage, these drivers will intentionally purchase a vehicle that is lighter on the environment as well as lighter on their pockets. The more these energy saving and energy powered vehicles are promoted on the roads, the more sustainable the air on our urban roads is.
Health: Therefore, the less pollution emitted on the streets and the more opportunities employment seekers have to afford adequate healthcare, the better our society!