Will Uber customers gear up to help protect the planet by paying a ‘clean air fee’?
Despite its well-publicised controversies, Uber has certainly revved up the taxi market. With features such as fare quotes before booking, dynamic pricing structures and ratings for drivers and passengers alike, the app-based service is now the go-to option for many people in its coverage areas.
This week, the company made a bold move as part of a public commitment to cutting emissions. Customers in London will now be charged an extra 15p per mile to help drivers save up towards buying electric cars. Uber estimates that this levy will amass a £200million fund and hopes that almost half of its 45,000-strong workforce will replace their vehicles with fully electric cars by 2021.
We can all talk the talk of wanting to save the planet, but the real test of the pudding tends to be in the spending. As soon as an eco-friendly policy becomes more expensive – or inconvenient – to support, it’s not uncommon for even the most environmentally-conscious among us to let those standards slip a little.
Of course, with the average Uber journey in London being just three miles, it’s unlikely that an extra 45p per journey is going to break the bank for most customers. We’d all like to hope that we wouldn’t stand in the way of the zero emissions movement for the sake of a few pennies. However, it will be interesting to see whether Uber experiences a drop in usage over the next few months. Indeed, the public may take this initiative to their hearts and start spending even more on rides, in a bid to get those electric cars on the streets sooner.
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