If You Can't Beat Them, Fee Them. Cities Turn To Ride-Sharing To Fix Ailing Infrastructure
Cities across the U.S. are turning to ride-sharing services to help support infrastructure repairs and funding for public services.
By placing a tax or extra fee on rides provided by companies like Uber, Lyft and Juno, municipalities are finding an effective way to raise funding that can be invested back into the community.
Chicago has already instituted a 15-cent surcharge for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services, which will be given to the Chicago Transit Authority to be used for the city’s train track, signal and electrical upgrades. The fee is anticipated to bring in $16M by the end of the year, the New York Times reports.
Philadelphia has chosen to allocate proceeds from its 1.4% tax on the ride-hailing services toward its public school system, while Massachusetts — which placed a 20-cent charge on ride-hailing trips — is putting the money toward improving its roads and bridges, in addition to giving back to the taxi community by helping them integrate new technologies and improving job training, the NYT reports.
New York is one of the latest cities to join this trend. Funds from the surcharge will go toward necessary subway system repairs. Ride-sharing users could be face additional fees of between $2 and $5 a ride, generating an estimated $605M per year.
These new initiatives are catching flame at a time when President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan is still in the works. Trump officially introduced the plan last week, and it has been met with mixed reviews. Some say the government's initial $200B contribution will not be enough to help spur the remaining $1.3 trillion in funding needed to complete necessary repairs across the country.