Uber, Lyft, and others sign ‘shared mobility pledge’ to improve urban transportation options

Ride-sharing startups like Uber and Lyft have been notorious for clashing with city leaders as they expand. Now, as many transportation startups are looking in the direction of autonomous technology, 15 of them have signed a joint mobility pledge, outlining for skeptical city leaders how they aim to create more livable, sustainable cities.

The 10 shared mobility principles attempt to “ensure that ongoing developments in technology, operational systems, ownership, and service business models lead to more livable, sustainable, and just cities.” Among the signees are almost all of the world’s major ride-sharing companies — BlaBlaCar, Didi, Lyft, and Uber — as well as shared bike startups Mobike and LimeBike. The 10 principles are:

  1. We plan our cities and their mobility together
  2. We prioritize people over vehicles
  3. We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land.
  4. We engage with stakeholders
  5. We promote equity
  6. We lead the transition toward a zero-emission future and renewable energy
  7. We support fair user fees across all modes
  8. We aim for public benefits via open data
  9. We work toward integration and seamless connectivity
  10. We support that autonomous vehicles in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets

The shared mobility pledge was the brainchild of Zipcar cofounder Robin Chase, who developed it alongside a handful of NGOs. The principles were first released in October, but the 15 companies announced today didn’t sign on until now. On a conference call with reporters, Chase said that getting the 15 companies onboard was critical, because they already play a critical role in the travel decisions people make today.

“Transportation is the key to whether you get a job or go to school or see your friends — transportation is really the gateway to opportunity,” Chase said.

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