Uber's ride-sharing service UberPool has hit a milestone in London, with more than a million people making journeys via the service in the six months since launch.
The billion dollar startup which recently landed billions more in funding from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, claims more than 700,000 driving miles have been saved by UberPool in the capital since it was introduced in November last year.
The service reduces the number of journeys made by each car as they are shared by people travelling in the same direction and offers travellers cheaper fares than the basic UberX solo journey.
The firm revealed the figures on its uptake in London for the first time today, adding that it had saved 52,000 litres of petrol and more than 124 metric tons of CO2 - the equivalent of over 132,000 pounds of burnt coal.
"We’re really pleased so many Londoners have chosen to share their journeys in the first few months of this new service. Not only does car-sharing save consumers money, it’s also good for our city as it means fewer miles driven and less air pollution," said Uber's Jo Bertram, speaking at a conference on Tuesday morning.
"The number of people trying UberPool out is growing each week and we want more Londoners to leave their own car at home and share an Uber to get from A to B instead. That’s why we’ve just just doubled the area where people can request the service and plan to extend it even further in the coming months.”
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Uber has pushed the service as a way of reducing the number of cars on the roads amid claims by black cab and minicab drivers that more Uber's on London's roads has contributed to the rise in congestion on London's roads.
Speaking at at an event last month, Uber founder and boss Travis Kalanick said: "Imagine if the 300,000 Brussels citizens driving into work this morning could pick somebody up and make a small profit from doing it. More people would carpool, we’d have less congestion, the air would be less polluted, we’d all live in a better place. The city doesn’t even have to use taxes to make it happen."
In some cities, UberPool journeys already account for half of journeys made, and early research by scientists in the US already indicates that there has been a positive impact on reducing traffic and emissions, according to the New York Times.