Cutting down on travel expenses, even if it’s to a meeting across town, is still important for small businesses. And sharing a ride is a way to cut down fossil fuel emissions.
In this respect, companies like Uber and other “online-enabled transportation systems,” as they are now being called, are green businesses themselves. But they can also enable other businesses using their services to become more green too.
Uber began as a service allowing people to call luxury cars to pick them up in San Francisco. Customers use the Uber app on their smartphone to connect with a ride. But soon the service had spread to many other cities and the company’s website now says you can use the Uber app to call a driver in 20 countries around the world.
More Vehicles, More Small Business Owners
Uber drivers have begun to expand their fleet to include SUVs, hybrid cars and even taxi cabs. Uber drivers are small business owners who connect with their clientele through the app and sign up with Uber to participate.
As part of their participation, drivers must meet Uber’s standards for customer service and are rated by previous riders and licensed and insured in accordance with local regulations.
Some worry they are competing with another group of potential small business owners, traditional taxi drivers, who are considerably more regulated. But even critics concede the barrier of entry for Uber is low as far as small business startups go.
Hassle Free Business Travel and A Greener Ride
With the launch of the new UberX app this year, the company has introduced a fare splitting concept allowing people with similar destinations to connect and share expenses.
Imagine small business owners with similar regular destinations sharing expenses and also contributing less greenhouse emissions while traveling?
Of course, not everyone is convinced. In a recent post in Environmental Leader, Lori Anne Dolqueist and Tara S. Kaushik insist the jury is still out on Uber’s status as a greener travel option. They point to huge efforts being made by traditional taxi services to become more fuel efficient.
It may be true that not all Uber drivers are currently using fuel efficient hybrids. But it’s hard to understand how splitting a ride for hassle free business travel wouldn’t benefit the environment as well as your budget.