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POOLing to move our cities forward

February 9, 2017 / India

Anyone who has travelled from Gurugram to Connaught Place during a rainstorm won’t need telling this, but Delhi and other Indian cities are some of the most congested in the world.

The smog crisis last November was a stark example of the challenge facing Delhi NCR. Indians face pollution exposure levels anywhere from 4 to 12 times the safe level, according to the World Health Organization. A recent study mentioned how Delhi alone was losing an estimated INR 60,000 crore annually due to increasing congestion and pollution.

Beating congestion won’t be easy or quick, and will require investment in public transport and smart city planning. But there is a way we can make a difference today- by sharing the cars already on the road.

uberPOOL makes it possible to do just that by allowing people heading in the same direction to take the same ride. That means more people in fewer cars, something that has a direct,  positive impact on the environment.

That’s why we welcome the Delhi government’s recent statements in support of ridesharing solutions that supplement public transport, cut congestion and pollution and improve last mile connectivity. Like Singapore, Sydney and scores of other cities around the world, Delhi clearly recognizes the roles that technology and innovation have to play, in getting cities moving again.

Research by the University of California, Berkeley reveals that each shared car helps in removing 9 to 13 vehicles from the road. The International Transport Forum conducted modelling for Lisbon and found that when cars on the road were converted to shared assets congestion reduced by 37 percent and parking space freed up by 90 percent.

To help kickstart this vision, in November 2016, we began a campaign called #SwitchtoPOOL, to encourage people to leave their cars at home and share those already on the street. In the first month alone, riders in Delhi NCR who uberPOOLed contributed to save around 1.7 million kms driven which equals a saving of 84,000 liters of fuel and cut over 198,000 kgs of CO2 emissions.  Isn’t that a great start?

Across India, since the launch of uberPOOL in December 2015, we have saved over 32 million kilometres travelled, over 1.5 million litres of fuel and cut over 3.5 million kgs CO2 emissions.

We have been encouraged by the progressive, pro-innovation attitude of policymakers in India and will continue to work with them to guide and frame regulations for our industry. The role of ridesharing in helping tackling congestion and pollution makes it too important not to.