- Daily Zen
Dara Khosrowshahi is diligently trying to bolster the reputation of Uber Technologies Inc., after being appointed as its CEO last year. Within a span of one year, he has shut down Uber services in several loss-making regions, acquired start-up JUMP bikes to reap early benefits of sustainable mobility and now focusing on other businesses where he can leverage the experience of the transit system.
The Uber CEO recently made a handful of announcements revolving around sustainable mobility. It includes a new fund, an effort to enhance public street data sharing and scaling e-bike charging stations.
“As more people have come to rely on Uber, our technology has become an important part of the transportation fabric of cities,” Khosrowshahi wrote on the company’s blog post. “With that comes a responsibility: we recognize we need to step up and support cities that take bold steps to solve their transportation problems.”
As a part of the new initiative, Uber has committed $10 million for the next three years, towards the cause which places “the long-term public interest over maintaining the mobility status quo.”
One of the ideas that Khosrowshahi will campaign for is to pass “congestion pricing” law for New York City as well as other urban cities where the ride-hailing service operates. The congestion pricing is about taxing heavy vehicles, private vehicles, cabs and public transportation platforms such as Uber during peak hours to tackle congestion on the roads. It has already reserved an additional $1 million to contest for passage of such legislation in 2019.
The Uber CEO further noted that there is limited public data available for street management and congestion. This data is imperative for transportation analysis and designing policies.
Uber will donate $250,000 from ‘Uber Fund for Sustainable Mobility’ to SharedStreets, a non-profit organization, building a standard framework on how the public and private firms like Uber itself can share and enhance public street information. The database majorly includes city road data such as road speeds and parking facility and curb spaces.
Uber currently owns an open platform where it has shared data from trips in more than two dozen cities for “public research and policy development”.
Lastly, this year’s major acquisition made by Uber – dockless JUMP e-bikes – is a direct investment in the company’s sustainable mobility concept.
The leading ride-hailing company integrated e-bike into the Uber app and the results are phenomenal. Based on a report in San Francisco, it was found that during office hours in weekdays, JUMP riders increased by 15 percent when the ridesharing trips declined by 10 percent on the platform.
The Uber CEO announced to build the charging stations for its dockless bikes. The company is partnering with Sacramento, California to provide charging stations at all convenient locations including universities and public transit stations.
The ride-hailing company will also contribute its sustainable mobility fund to another non-profit, PeopleForBikes. This company works with government authorities to secure funds for biking projects across the USA.