Uber Will Spend $10 Million to Help Solve City’s Traffic Issues

Sep 28, 2018

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Cities around the country have started pointing the finger at Uber for a surge of traffic issues in recent years — and whether  it’s ride-hailing companies that are really causing these problems, it’s easy to blame the companies that have completely disrupted urban transportation in recent years.

New York City recently imposed a cap on the amount of ride-hailing vehicles while the city studies the impact they have on congestion.

Instead of fighting against the problem, Uber is trying to play nice with local governments and develop solutions to fix the issue. On Wednesday, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced it would spend $10 million to help cities research sustainable transportation and find ways to reduce traffic.

$250,000 of that will go to SharedStreets, a nonprofit that works with public and private organizations to get them to share transportation data with each other.

$1 million will go to lobbying New York to pass a comprehensive congestion pricing plan, which many transportation advocates would have a much bigger impact on New York City’s traffic issues than a ride-hailing cap. If passed it could serve as a model for other cities to implement similar legislation that usually funds public transportation.

“We’re ready to do our part to help cities that want to put in place smart policies to tackle congestion—even if that means paying money out of our own pocket to pass a tax on our core business,” wrote Khosrowshahi.

The rest of the money will be allocated to different organizations over the next three years, and Uber will use The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities as guiding standards in how it determines where the money will go. It also shared a new study on how cities “can create safer, more efficient streets and curbs.”

While $10 million may sound large, it’s not a huge chunk of change for a company that’s valued at $62 billion dollars.

Uber said it will continue to invest in its dockless electric Jump Bikes and infrastructure for them — it announced its partnering with Sacramento to install bike charging stations around the city. While these greener forms of transportation can help reduce congestion — it’s also where Uber sees its future, and more importantly, profits. It will also donate to PeopleForBikes, a nonprofit that lobbies for bike funding and pro-bike legislation.

Featured image by Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.

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