Policies and technologies needed to reduce traffic congestion and pollution
SACRAMENTO, CA — California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing first-in-the-nation emissions regulations and electrification requirements for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), referred to as ride-hailing companies. Consumers Reports is engaging with the public rulemaking process that holds the potential to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution for all Californians.
“Ride-hailing companies have an opportunity to become the transportation solutions they promised to be,” says Alfred Artis, Policy Analyst for Consumer Reports. “This process is a chance for companies to join Californians seeking solutions that help reduce traffic congestion and pollution.”
On Friday, CARB outlined policy scenarios it is considering that would require TNCs to electrify an increasingly greater percentage of its fleet, as well as encourage ridership pooling and ride connections to public transit. CARB analysis shows that an increasing number of TNC drivers will be able to get a full return on the additional costs of switching to an EV within just one year, and that electric vehicle driving ranges and charging times will be compatible with most drivers’ needs.
“By embracing policies and technologies that have the potential to reduce pollution and congestion, ride-hailing companies will be better equipped to fulfill their promise to consumers,” says Artis.
In California, the average ride-hailing trip is causing about 50% more pollution than the average car trip, per passenger mile. Making matters worse, only 40% of miles traveled by Uber and Lyft include a passenger, which means these companies are causing much greater emissions, and congestion, than the average driver.
Consumer Reports will be providing public comments to CARB about its proposal. CARB says it is on schedule to adopt the regulations in early 2021, and begin implementing the program in 2023.