Uber Adds to Pollution & Traffic in European Cities

Air Quality https://www.transportenvironment.org/press/uber-adds-pollution-and-traffic-european-cities-too

Published on December 19th, 2019 | by Cynthia Shahan

December 19th, 2019 by  

In terms of health, I believe pedestrian life and more abundant, affordable electric mass transit are best. Yet, due to lack of good transit, inconvenience, work, and a litany of other issues, too many of us depend on car travel. Sometimes it seems it is not only white privilege, but car privilege, that rules, while causing harm. Lighter footprint pedestrians do not deserve the exhaust blowing in their faces and brains.

I once heard Helen Caldecott say the planet is on total organ collapse. More recently, in Azn Iinterview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, when asked about climate policies. She responded, “I’m afraid at this stage my prognosis is grim re both subjects. I see little if any movement by the body politic to remedy these extraordinarily dangerous issues that presently confront the human race, let alone all other species.”

Helen’s opinions revolve around fallout from nuclear energy, but also pesticides and the social responsibility of combating the many emissions problems. As a physician, she is a brilliant rarity of the “old country doctor” variety — simply gifted in knowledge, service, and humanity.

The Good News From Transport & Environment

This new report is from a coalition of green NGOs campaigning to clean up taxi companies such as Uber. Many of us have considered the over-driving of car services such as Uber, but we haven’t quantified it.

Evolution of taxi drivers, PHV drivers (England), and Uber drivers (London) compared to taxi and PHV CO2 emissions (UK). Source: “Europe’s giant ‘taxi’ company: is Uber part of the problem or the solution?”

The European report continues: “Data compiled by Euromonitor for European research and campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) shows a surge in the number of Uber drivers (officially registered as private hire vehicles — PHV) in the past few years. In France, which liberalized the taxi market in 2015, the a number of reported PHV drivers doubled in three years (from more than 15,000 in 2016 to 30,000 in 2019). And the number of Uber drivers in London almost doubled in three years (from 25,000 in 2016 to 45,000 in 2018), accounting for roughly half the total PHV license number.”

Full Stop

Digging into T&E’s numbers does not put Trump in good light. Yoann Le Petit, new mobility expert with T&E, said:

“Uber’s CEO tells us they ‘do the right thing, period.’ But the reality is that Uber is part of the traffic and pollution problem, adding car trips in our cities and adding to the climate and pollution crisis. If it wants to become part of the solution Uber needs to stop using petrol and diesel cars and rapidly shift to 100% electric rides. That’s the right thing to do, full stop.”

“The analysis estimates that in London and Paris alone, the emissions of Uber taxi services could be as high as half a megatonne of CO2 — 515 kilotonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to adding the CO2 emissions of an extra 250,000 privately owned cars to the road. It’s time for help

Worryingly, French government data from 2017 show that 90% of the registered private hire (leasing) vehicles, which includes Uber, were diesel cars.

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)