According to new research by the on-demand taxi service, more than a quarter of Londoners are giving up ownership of their cars for alternatives such as Uber. A YouGov poll of 1,000 residents in the capital conducted by the startup showed results of 28 per cent of people that no longer own a car, but used to, citing the use of alternatives as the reason for the shift. The number jumped to 42 per cent among those who were recent Uber users, while 11 per cent of Uber users said they were less likely to need their own car in the future.
One in five people polled said they were less likely to buy a car in the capital for the same reasons and among those who started using Uber in the last six months that stood at a third. Uber UK manager Jo Bertram said:
These figures suggest apps like Uber are starting to have an impact on car ownership. Ditching your own car can be good for our city as well as your wallet. When people can get around and connect with public transport without needing their own car there’s less need for parking spaces.
A year ago, Uber launched its car sharing option UberPool, which offers a cheaper ride with someone else headed in the same direction. More than two million journeys have been shared using the service as of the end of August, saving more than 1.3m miles being driven, 98,000 litres of petrol and 231 metric tonnes of C02, according to estimates.
In the US, where UberPool has experienced a longer run, early data from one of the first research projects on the matter indicate this may already be the case. However, in London Uber has been blamed for increasing congestion on the roads with the number of mincabs rising in recent years, with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, promising to tackle the capital’s “toxic air”. A new charge for the most polluting cars on London’s roads is planned.
The new survey also shows that people are using it as a compliment to public transport; 65 per cent said they used it when other public transport options were not available, 55 per cent use it when those options were limited or suspended, and 43 per cent make use of it as a safer option to get home at night. Cumulatively, a little less than one in five said they used Uber because they didn’t own their own car.
Uber and other services like it, therefore, are fast changing the face of transport, both public and private, by offering a cheap, convenient and customer friendly amalgamation of the two.