Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Uber, Lyft & Sidecar: Blowing Mega Tons of Greenhouse Gases

The photo shows Paul Gillespie, former head of the Taxi Commission speaking as former Mayor Gavin Newsom and an assistant look on. The date was March 22, 2010 and the trio were celebrating  San Francisco's taxi fleet becoming more than 50% green.

This theme was picked up by current Mayor Ed Lee on February 2, 2012 when he said,

"San Francisco’s clean taxi program has exceeded all expectations....  San Francisco taxicabs are the cleanest in the U.S. and a model to other taxi fleets around the world.

When the 2008 Green Taxi Ordinance was passed, its goal was, "a reduction of average per-vehicle GHG emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels." By 2012, the S.F. taxi fleet had grown from 821vehicles to 1,432 and had still reduced the total emissions by over 10%, resulting in 35,139 metric tons of GHG emissions savings the equivalent of taking 6,890 passenger cars off the road every year.

97% of San Francisco's taxis are now low emission vehicles. The original goal was to reduce the average emissions per vehicle to 38 tons per year. The current average is 28.1 Tons per taxi.

During a phone conversation last month with Gillespie, who spear-headed the Green taxi ordinance, he told me that Uber and the rest have "OBLITERATED" the goal of reducing green house gas emissions in San Francisco.

Pause: I have to go out in my hybrid and drive some of my happy customers around. Tonight my music selections include: old school (Hendrix, Dylan, CCR, Beetles, Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, etc) Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain, Diana Krall, Bela Barok's Sonata for Solo Violin, Brazilian Music played by a Yo Yo Ma ensamble and a work by Christopher Fulkerson.

Tomorrow. The CPUC's confused goals.


  1. Dear Ed,

    It is very pertinent that the pirates Uber and Lyft are destroying the already proven goals of a sustainable San Francisco taxi fleet. This is just another way that they are showing they are not participating in the broader San Francisco community.

    To use the appropriate technical terms, that seem still a bit much for some people to wrap their heads around, they are not only what we call sleazy, they're also what can be called grungy. If these complex insider, technical terms are not defined at Wikipedia, please let me know, and I will write those pages, in order to help the general public understand what those businesses represent.

    And hey, thanks for playing my music... it's always a pleasure to agree with you.


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