Taxi technology giant Uber has launched a new option to Londoners today allowing them to share journeys and cut emissions.
UberPOOL, a new car-pooling service, allows Uber users to share lifts with other people using the app â€“ saving passengers around 25% on the average journey cost.
While there is a financial incentive to share taxi rides, the service is also designed to cut down on wasteful journeys by reducing road mileage and vehicle emissions.
An Uber statement reads: â€œNext time you pull up at the traffic lights, look to your left and your right at the cars heading the same way. How many empty seats can you count? Chances are thereâ€™s only one or two people in a car that could hold four or five. Now imagine if we could take those people, all heading in the same direction, and bring them together to fill a single car.â€
Uber adds: â€œWe could materially reduce the cost for riders, help cut mileage and emissions and â€“ as the cost of convenient, reliable, on-demand transport comes down â€“ ultimately take cars off the road by making the need to own your own car a thing of the past.
â€œNot only that but uberPOOL means drivers have more fares, more of the time â€“ so everyone benefits. That makes it the best choice for your driver, your wallet and your city.â€
UberPOOL will initially be available for pickups in central London and Heathrow airport.
A runaway success, Uber has recently faced backlash from traditional cab drivers and private hire firms who are concerned the mobile app service undercuts their business.
But London cab drivers are also doing their bit to reduce air pollution on the capitalâ€™s roads. In May, the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association partnered with Clean Air in London to lobby the Mayor to establish a network of 500 electric and hybrid vehicle rapid charge points (see airqualitynews.com story).
And in August, Addison Lee taxis switched to electric-only mode in four specially designated zones in the City of London as part of a joint initiative with the council to reduce air pollution in the square mile (see airqualitynews.com story).