This is a promotional image of Uber’s introduction of clean air fee London. Following other ride-hailing services like Lyft, who announced that they will be going Carbon Neutral in April this year, uber decided to charge extra per mile for driver’s who are driving electric cars. While this is not exactly the same as Lyft’s more direct efforts to cut emissions, including “the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, renewable energy programs, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills,” (Zimmer) Uber is advertising themselves as an eco-friendly corporation by creating tangible promotional objects such as the car-covered-in-grass. Through this image, we can see that toxicity perpetuates by propagating the idea of a 'green industry' in the public imaginary.
I chose this promotional image in order to demonstrate the ride-hailing industry’s response to public accusations of the industry’s contribution to carbon emissions. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are especially popular and can create lasting infrastructural impacts in cities like Los Angeles, where public transportation is scarce. By creating pop-up installations such as this, Uber is promoting itself as an environmentally-conscious corporation. Whether these efforts actually amount up to what they allegedly claim to be should be interrogated by academics and activists.
Gwyn Topham. 2018. “Uber Introduces Clean Air Fee to all London Rides.” In The Guardian. Photos by Casey Gutteridge at Uber/PA. October.