Remember when Uber pledged £200m of your money to clean up London’s air, via a 15p-a-mile surcharge on every journey? Well, said surcharge kicks in on the 16th of January, so you can expect to pay about 45p more on your Uber trips on average from then. While it’s a very worthwhile thing to contribute to, it’d be nice if Uber put any of its own bucketloads of money towards the Mayor’s clean air scheme. Even just matching the 15p contribution would be nice. But no, it’s all on your shoulders because you had the nerve to use the service they provide, thereby smogging up London. The charge will go towards helping Uber’s ‘partner-drivers’ upgrade their cars to electric, “as well as other clean air initiatives,” which sadly probably don’t include asking drivers to stop wearing so much damn body spray in an enclosed space. A driver doing 40 hours a week would make an extra £3k in two years to put towards an electric vehicle, at which point the fee will be used to pay for upkeep. Uber says it expects to ‘raise’ (again… charge you, is what they mean) over £200m with this scheme over the next few years. They’re aiming for all cars on the app to be fully electric by 2025, with the first 20,000 by the end of 2021. Fred Jones, Director of Uber London, said: “We want to partner with the cities we serve and are proud
for you to play our part in tackling London’s air pollution. Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes or public transport – all in the Uber app.”
Normally we’d recommend skipping Uber if you want to avoid the charge, but the air on the tube is terrible, hence the Mayor’s scheme, so there’s really no winning here.