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Your Uber and Lyft trips are bad for the environment, obviously

We’re our own worst enemies.

uber driver setting own price
Image: Unsplash

We all know that cars add to the overall pollution of our world, but a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists takes a look at just how much services like Uber and Lyft are contributing to global pollution.

Most of us are guilty of it, trading in public transportation like buses and trains for a quick Uber ride and as these services continue to gain in popularity, they clog up more roads and pump more harmful materials into the air. Even pooled trips are more harmful for the environment than other forms of transportation.

The study focuses on the effects of tens of billions of ride-hailing trips and how those compare to things like private vehicle trips and public transportation. Long story short, these ridesharing companies are pumping an increasing amount of toxins into the air compared to even private rides. A whopping 69% more, in fact.

uber and lyft ride-hailing effects on environment

Image: Union of Concerned Scientists

The main reason for this is something referred to as “deadheading”. Basically, what this means is that drivers for these companies spend an increased amount of time just driving around, free of cargo looking for their next customer. Compare that to a personal vehicle that simply goes from one place to the next and then stops and you can see how these numbers can raise quickly.

So, what can we do about it? Take more trains, walk more when available, you know, all the basic stuff. Another thing that would be interesting to see from these companies is a focus on electric vehicles. Maybe giving drivers who use eco-friendly rides a higher percentage of the fair would drive a higher adoption rate for these vehicles.

You can find the full report here.

What do you think? Surprised that services like Uber and Lyft are affecting the environment as much as they are? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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