Uber and Lyft Tax Next Attempt to Free Up LA's Congested Roads

Transportation officials in LA County are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft in an effort to combat the increasing congestion on the city's roads.

Officials say the Bay Area tech companies "don't pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region."

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax and will also consider approving a study on the infamous congestion pricing

Uber and Lyft could be partly to blame, among other things, for the decline of transit ridership.

The ride-share companies “are using public roads, and the profit is going to their companies,” Phil Washington, Metro’s chief executive, said at a recent meeting. "Drivers spend a significant amount of time on the road with one or no passengers in their cars," he said, which has “no mobility benefit.”

Metro estimates a 20-cent fee on each trip could bring in $401 million over a decade for public transportation upgrades. A $2.75 fee could raise $5.5 billion.

Lyft supports “comprehensive congestion pricing” as a way to reduce traffic, spokeswoman Kaelan Richards said. For riders, “cost and convenience are key factors when deciding to choose Lyft over their personal vehicles.”

To take even more money out of the community's pocket, Metro is also considering a fee on bicycles, electric scooters, and other devices that can be 'rented per trip.'

Read more at the LA Times.

Photo: Getty Images

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