Americans can be paid $1,000 to ditch their car in Uber five week challenge

In an effort to stop people relying on their own personal car, Uber is paying car owners $1,000 in their newly launched ‘One Less Car Challenge.’

“With nearly 233 million private vehicles on the road throughout the U.S. – 80 million of which are driven less than 10 miles a day on average – we’re out to show that it’s possible to make the switch to a car-light lifestyle…” writes Adam Gromis, the Global Head of Sustainability Policy at Uber.

He says ditching the car will contribute to creating “more livable cities” while saving both money and emissions.

The five week challenge will include up to 175 car owners living in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.

All participants will be asked to give up their car and instead use alternative transportation like walking, public transit, cycling, and rideshare.

For taking part, those involved will be given the money to pay for the other transportation methods which Uber says is based on the average monthly cost of vehicle ownership in the U.S.

The efforts within the challenge will be analyzed as Uber has partnered with a research consultancy company that specializes in behavioral science called the Behavioural Insights Team who will be measuring the impacts.

Uber ran the same ‘One Less Car Challenge’ in Australia last year

While many could be quick to brand the challenge a PR gimmick, it’s not the first time Uber has asked people to give up their car.

In 2023, a study was completed in Australia where 58 people went without their vehicle and instead opted for different transport. They were also paid, with a total of $870 USD given in transport credits.

The transportation company found that the weekly average number of trips amongst the people involved dropped slightly from 21 to 19, but the number of transport modes increased significantly.

People in the Australian trial were averaging four modes of different transport, with walking, cycling, and rideshare found to be the ‘most valued players’ of the trial.

Featured Image: Photo by Mira Kireeva on Unsplash 

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