Austin based ride-share services aims to limit air pollution and traffic congestion

Weather & Traffic In-Depth

AUSTIN (KXAN) — At first thought, you may think ride-share services have helped the environment by potentially limiting the amount of pollution exhausted from cars on the roads such as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas contributing to warming our planet. Well, that’s not true. 

New research from Carnegie Mellon University found that services like Lyft and Uber are making pollution worse. These services are emitting 20% more greenhouse gas pollution compared to trips they displace. The reason: increased fuel consumption.

You, as a driver in your own vehicle, drive directly from point A to point B. Meanwhile, rideshare drivers spend a lot of time idling while they wait for their next ride or pickup. The convenience of these services also tends to discourage public transportation, making matters worse.

With how convenient rideshares can be, a new Austin-based company called Fetii hopes to pair convenience with going green. Matthew Iommi, Fetii’s CEO, said they focus on bigger groups.

“We help congestion. Austin can always use help in that department. Especially as congestion comes back after the pandemic.” he said.

Their fleet of vehicles they rent from another third party can hold up to 15 passengers. This keeps a large group together and in one vehicle, instead of taking multiple cars. A big difference from other ride-share companies that can only fit 4 to 7 passengers.

“Reduction of carbon emission, transportation accounts for a total of 29% of greenhouse gas emissions, Fetii users on average prevent 26 kilograms of carbon dioxide per trip,” Iommi said.

With Fetii, you don’t need to plan ahead, he adds. You can use their app to order a ride right then and there for your big group. This is a big difference from charter services, for example, that need to be booked and paid for days in advance, offering minimal flexibility.

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