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  • Writer's pictureashley saile

Greenhouse Gasses and Their Effects on Travel

Hold on tight, this one's a speedy read! We're talking just 2 minutes and 55 seconds.

Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling you-hoo...or at least it used to. I remember a time around 20 years ago when we actually had snow in December in NY. Wow, two decades have flown by, and boy oh boy, things have really shaken up!

Let’s take a brief look into how much things have changed:

The year is 2003 and I would have been in my first semester at St. John’s University. I did not have an iPhone, and Uber was not even a thought yet, (however Yellow Cabs were everywhere). All of the girls showed up to class in either pajamas or Juicy Couture. Black Eyed Peas inspired us to open our hearts after George W Bush declared Mission Accomplished in the Iraq war, with their 2003 hit “Where Is the Love”. My all-time fav TV show debuted, Arrested Development, followed by One Tree Hill and Chappelle’s Show respectfully. As far as movies are concerned, The comedic talent of Jon Favreau ushered the kid inside us as we watched “Elf” for the first time.

I’m glad we had a little nostalgic fun. Ring, Ring, Debby Downer’s on the other line with some news. She really wants you to know that while you were having fun, the climate wasn’t. Transportation was and still is the highest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Higher than emissions from Electric power companies, Industrial Buildings, and Old Bessie.

According to a study by the EPA, 29% of greenhouse gasses stem from Transportation. Electric Vehicles are doing their part in helping to reduce greenhouse gasses. In late 2022, Tesla took on the challenge of an Electric Semi Truck, designed to have a capacity of 82k pounds and boasts less than 2 kWh per mile of energy consumption. Tesla’s Semi can travel 500 miles between charges, and impressively takes 30 mins to recharge. Of course these are stats from Tesla, I have not personally driven a Semi or seen one on the east coast yet. Electric Vehicles are an important factor in reducing greenhouse gasses, and are becoming more popular thanks to government subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. It is important to note the components of EV’s use a lot of other natural resources to create, which takes away from their overall positive influence on the environment as a whole. However, this article is mainly focusing on greenhouse gasses, which non Electric Vehicles are to blame for that 29% figure.

Outside of Electric Vehicles, Rideshare companies such as UBER and LYFT have helped to cut down on the amount of cars that people buy and drive. People that live in the city often find it much easier and cheaper to use a Rideshare than to pay for the car, insurance, parking garage, etc, and it helps to drive the city pollution down. So this is great news right? In a technologically advanced society it’s easy to pick up your smartphone and tap into a ride. But, what happens to the 15% of people in the US that don’t use a smartphone? UBER and LYFT are apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone through the App Store or Google Play Store. These Rideshare companies help to make users lives easier and more efficient. Need to be picked up from a late night out? A Rideshare is easy to get and get you to where you need to go. Outside of the environmental factors, Rideshares also bring mobility to seniors. Now, you don’t have to worry when an elderly parent is adamant they want to go pick up their prescriptions themselves. Many Baby Boomers (aged 55-73) prefer to use non-smartphones, in fact, 22% do not own a smartphone. That figure dwindles for the Silent Generation (aged 74-91), of which 40% own a smartphone.

For users that don’t have access to a smartphone, there are companies that have come through the woodwork to help. One of these companies, Tremp, allows calls/texts to their dispatch phone number, so rest assured your information isn’t being held in a data warehouse for hackers to gain entry (like with apps). Just call/text the phone number in the US/Canada 732-479-7080 and a dispatcher will book your Rideshare with a Rideshare company (UBER and LYFT only), text you complete details about the vehicle that will be picking you up with driver details, time, etc and you are on your way to your destination. Their service is available 24/7 and because they use UBER and LYFT drivers (which are background checked), the service is safe and convenient. Tremp does charge a small service fee on top of the UBER or LYFT Charges. This charge is 10% of the total Rideshare cost, with a $2 minimum. The charge represents the cost of doing business, connecting non-smartphone users with app only Rideshares.

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