UCLA: Popularity of brief Uber, Lyft rides on campus raises environmental concerns

UCLA students call about 11,000 Uber and Lyft rides that never leave campus every week, raising concerns about the environmental impact of unnecessary trips.

UCLA Transportation determined this number using data provided by the two ride-hail companies, said Abdallah Daboussi, senior administrative planning and policy analyst at UCLA Transportation.

Even though these are short trips, they still produce a large amount of carbon emissions, said Yifang Zhu, associate director of the Center for Clean Air and an environmental health sciences professor.

Tailpipe emissions are responsible for releasing various types of pollutants in most cars, she said. Typical chemical pollutants include carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide.

“The pollutants coming out of the tailpipe heavily contribute to Los Angeles’ smog problem,” Zhu said.