Uber Commits $10M to Make ‘Congestion Pricing,’ e-Bike Commuting a Reality

by | Sep 26, 2018

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced today that the company is committing $10 million to campaign for and invest in environmentally responsible causes, including “congestion pricing” in New York City and other cities in which the company operates. Uber has been advocating for New York legislators to pass a comprehensive congestion pricing plan that would tax trucks, personal vehicles, taxis and transportation platforms like Uber as a way to tackle congestion; the funding generated would support mass transit, which Uber says is a critical goal of its new campaign.

Of the $10 million investment – what Uber is calling its Fund for Sustainable Mobility – $1 million will be used to fight for passage of such legislation in NYC next year.

Congestion pricing is viewed by urban planners and transportation experts as “the single best way to ease the road congestion that is choking many cities across the globe,” Khosrowshahi wrote in a blog post.

 

‘Smart Transportation’

The fund will also include a $250,000 donation to a nonprofit called SharedStreets which is developing a standard for how organizations can share data about street management and congestion. Such data helps cities understand how streets are being used, which is an “important first step to improve policy,” Khosrowshahi wrote.

Uber will also help develop standards on sharing street-speed data – information which cities have been requesting from Uber based on its data culled from more than 15 million trips per day.

 

Jumping to e-Bikes

Uber’s Fund for Sustainable Mobility includes investment into its Jump platform, which has integrated e-bikes onto the Uber platform in San Francisco.

Early results from Jump show that on weekdays in San Francisco when congestion is at its worst, trips by Jump riders climbed 15%, while rideshare trips declined 10%. But scaling the program “won’t be easy,” Khosrowshahi wrote. “For one thing, we need to ensure that cities have the infrastructure in place to support e-bikes.” The investment includes a launch of charging stations for shared dockless bikes, where Jump bikes can be placed in a charging station when there’s one available at the rider’ destination.

The program is starting in Sacramento, Calif., where Uber will offer charging stations across the city at convenient destinations, including public transit stations and universities. The company is partnering with public entities including the Sacramento Regional Transit District, Sacramento Council of Governments and California State University, Sacramento, to “make e-bikes a viable option for everyday use.”

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