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Are ride-hailing apps a benefit to society? Show more Show less
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Ride-hailing apps such as Uber or Lyft have made it convenient for passengers to connect with local drivers through their smartphones. However, there are controversies surrounding the practice of ride-hailing apps. Do ride-hailing apps benefit society?

No, ride-hailing apps are not a benefit to society Show more Show less

Ride-hailing apps are bad for the environment. At least 40% of the time, drivers travel alone from one drop off point to the next pick up location. This adds more miles, contributing to more congestion and vehicle emissions that wouldn’t exist without ride-hailing.
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Ride-hailing apps contribute to climate change

Research suggests that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have contributed to climate change by increasing congestion and emissions. There have been calls for ride-hailing services to move towards more sustainable and green methods of transport.

The Argument

According to a report written by the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), emissions from taxi-like services increased by 23 percent between 2012 and 2017. The report also found a correlation between rising emissions and private hire vehicle licenses in London, which almost doubled to 89,000 during the same period.[1] As a leading ride-hailing app in London, Uber's app is opened eight more times than its competitors. T&E warned Uber's business practice of using combustion engine and fossil fuel-powered cars is detrimental to Europe's transition towards green and sustainable cities.[2] In the USA, the Union of Concerned Scientists have evaluated the ride-hailing sector's toll on the environment.[3] The study found on average, ride-hailing apps in the U.S result in 69 percent more pollution than the forms of transport they replace.[4]

Counter arguments

Uber introduced a clean air plan in London in January 2019 to raise funds for drivers to switch to electric vehicles. The initiative includes introducing a 15p per mile surcharge fee to all trips booked in London through the app. Uber's goal is to convert 20,000 drivers to electric cars by the end of 2021. Its long term goal is to run a fully electric fleet in London by 2025.[5] Ride-hailing apps like Uber help tackle climate change through their ridesharing feature called UberPool. UberPool allows users to share a ride with up to six people who are traveling in a similar direction and can reduce emissions by half per passenger. Ridesharing can also reduce gasoline consumption. Additionally, Uber will not have cars older than 3-5 years in their fleet. On average, Uber will cause less pollution than private cars.[6]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/T%26E_Europe%20s%20giant%20taxi%20company%20is%20Uber%20part%20of%20the%20problem%20or%20the%20solut...%20%281%29.pdf
  2. https://www.cityam.com/1292973-2/
  3. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-25/the-other-toll-of-uber-and-lyft-rides-pollution
  4. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/ride-hailing-problem-climate
  5. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/uber-clean-air-levy-on-passengers-raises-30m-towards-greener-taxis-a4171811.html
  6. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/is-uberpool-ridesharing-solution-a-huge-step-towards-sustainability/
This page was last edited on Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 19:26 UTC

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