Mobility companies such as Uber and Lyft have an interesting place in conversations about non-motorist commuter safety, as they look to improve the experience of the customers they serve. While some companies provide support through infrastructure funding, Uber has taken a different route by calling upon Congress directly.
Recently, Uber launched a campaign that focuses on the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in big cities. The company’s interest in the safety of non-motorists is a welcome support for advocates of traffic infrastructure change.
Uber’s letter to congress
To write the letter to Congress, Uber partnered with three cyclist advocate organizations: PeopleforBikes, North American Bikeshare Association, and the League of American Bicyclists. The letter advocates for Congress to improve upon America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), an act that the Senate passed in 2019.
The four organizations commend the Senate on passing this measure, while encouraging the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to build upon the following key provisions outlined in ATIA:
- Improvement to Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP is the largest program which benefits cyclists, as it focuses on building better cycling and walking infrastructure.
- Prioritization of vulnerable roadway users’ safety. ATIA allocates $250 million for a program which provides incentives for big cities to support cyclists, pedestrians and people on scooters.
- Development of connected networks. Connected networks are crucial for any walker or cyclist trying to get somewhere. A new Complete Streets policy would mandate that metropolitan planning organizations dedicate a minimum 2.5% of their budget to improving transportation grid and networks for non-motorists.
- Addressing climate change. ATIA invests $10 billion to reduce emissions and improve response to natural disasters that are a result of the changing climate. This money is to be spent over a five-year period.
Uber is a large company and their invested interest in this initiative adds pressure for Congress to support and prioritize cyclists and walkers. Hopefully this encourages a wider conversation about cyclist and pedestrian safety that makes our city streets safer for all of us.