Facedrive brings environmental responsibility to ridesharing by planting a tree for every ride, according to PR Newswire. The company aims to help reduce the carbon footprint created by ridesharing and offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional ridesharing companies.
- Facedrive offers an environmentally responsible choice for those who prefer to do business with green companies.
- Traffic congestion is worse due to ridesharing and it increases polluting emissions.
- Facedrive plants trees to offset those emissions and lets riders choose to ride in electric or hybrid cars rather than being forced to ride in a gas-powered vehicle.
Ridesharing was once seen as a way to relieve congestion and decrease pollution. The idea was that it would reduce the need for people to own personal cars, especially if they didn’t drive regularly, and therefore reduce the number of cars on the road. Instead, the addition of ridesharing vehicles has had the opposite effect.
Traffic and the pollution it causes is an ongoing concern. (Photo: Getty Images)
Ridesharing has only made traffic worse
The number of vehicles on the road has only increased since the advent of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. This is especially true in already congested urban areas. Between 2010 and 2016, San Francisco saw a 60-percent increase in traffic with 50 percent of that increase attributed to ridesharing.
Traffic congestion is a growing concern costing each American roughly $1,400 a year and 100 hours of wasted time stuck in traffic. The average American saw a commute time increase of two hours from 2017 to 2019. The east coast boasted the worst numbers with each driver in Boston, which has the worst traffic congestion in the country, losing 149 hours and $2,205 each per year.
All that traffic has a negative impact on the environment. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that ridesharing adds an estimated 69 percent more climate pollution than the trips they displace. A combination of factors — including the use of less-efficient vehicles and choosing to rideshare instead of opting for public transportation — all contribute to this increase.
According to Facedrive CEO Sayan Navaratnam, millennials and younger people like the convenience of ridesharing rather than owning a car, but they want it to be green, too. This is what makes Facedrive different from the rest. It starts by planting trees to offset CO2 emissions for every trip.
It isn’t simply one tree per trip. Instead, there’s an in-app algorithm that figures out the CO2 emissions of each trip, whether it’s a short distance or something longer. It then donates an equivalent monetary value to local groups to plant trees. In their partnership with Forest Ontario, Facedrive has already planted over 3,500 trees in its soft launch phase.
In addition to planting trees for trips, there’s a choice of hybrid and electric vehicles. (Photo: Getty Images)
Even the cars are green
Since the kind of car used for a trip can significantly change the environmental impact of the journey, the company also puts a focus on choosing green vehicles. Riders can choose from electric vehicles, hybrids, or traditional gas-powered vehicles for their trip.
Facedrive is a Canadian company and currently operates only in Canada, but it’s growing quickly. It was giving just 100 rides a day four months ago, but now gives roughly 1,000 rides a day. That increase in rides has it looking at expansion. Plans call for expanding service to the United States and Canada by the end of this year.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Ridesharing is a convenient solution for getting around — especially in cities — but it’s not good for traffic congestion or the environment. In order to attract customers, ridesharing businesses need to find a way to combine convenience with environmental responsibility. Offering hybrid and EV choices along with funding environmental causes is one possible solution to the problem.