Uber isn't the only ride-sharing service available, but it is the one most drastically pushing for you to get rid of your car. Demonstrating this is the company's latest effort to lure in new users: UberPool, a beta program in San Francisco where users can double-up on rides and get a 40-percent discount as a result. In a blog post yesterday announcing the beta, Uber pointed out reasons besides I need a ride that users might opt for the service, and at the heart of it all was one large notion: that we'd do well in getting rid of our cars.
That would, of course, be in Uber's best interest, but the company has made a series of points to show how it could, potentially, be an advantage to all of us. By using a ride-sharing service, the number of vehicles that need a place to park decreases. Carpooling like UberPool is, in theory, better for the environment because fuel usage goes down, among other things. The cost of car ownership would no longer be a burden for the average suburbanite trapped in a cycle of loan payments and car maintenance.
Uber has spoken of the "larger social implications of reducing the number of cars on the road, congestion in cities, pollution, parking challenges..." – all things a ride-sharing service could potentially address in due time. And with the introduction of carpooling, the cost of ordering a car to drive you around drops, and the possibilities blow wide open.
All of this is grand in the perfect world scenario, but it presents one very big question: would you get rid of your car if Uber – or Lyft or any other service like it – ever became more widespread? If black cars were to dot the road from coast to coast and getting a ride was as simple as tapping your touchscreen regardless of your location, would the thought of tire rotations and regular oil changes make your vehicle look far less appealing?
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Ride-sharing services offer many perks over traditional taxi services, and that's a good thing. But unless they manage to sway how consumers, as a whole, choose to get from point A to point B, they'll continue to be viewed by the public as nothing more than a cheaper, more tech-friendly way to get a last-minute ride. This reality has resulted in a sustained effort to lure consumers away from personal vehicle ownership, and it ultimately comes down to how we respond to one simple question: is ride-sharing enough to make us ditch our cars?
Drop us a comment with your thoughts!