Lightfoot Proposes Tax Increase On Rideshare Companies To Cut Downtown Traffic Congestion

Nancy Harty
October 18, 2019 - 6:41 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot has unveiled proposed tax increases on rideshares that she hopes will help dig the city out of its massive budget shortfall. 

A tax increase on solo Ubers or Lyfts that start or end downtown should raise 40 million dollars, the mayor said, and help reduce traffic congestion. 

Under her plan, the tax on single-rider trips would go up from 60 cents to one dollar and 13 cents per trip — while it would go down for shared rides to 53 cents.

There would also be a one dollar and 75-cent surcharge for solo trips starting or ending downtown and 60 cents for shared rides. 

"We see riders originating from one part of the city [are> single riders, coming to the downtown area," Lightfoot said. We see a lot of cars idling, roaming around trying to find riders. We have to address that."

Melody Geracy with the Active Transportation Alliance applauds the move, calling it a bold first step to reducing emissions and congestion on Chicago's busiest streets.

The areas affected are North Avenue to Roosevelt Road and from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland.However

However, a spokeswoman for Uber said the proposal would make Chicago's ridesharing fee the highest in the country and take money from drivers — about half who live on the South and West sides of the city. 

Chicago's government isn't alone in taxing the companies but other cities have rates lower than ours. According to the World Resources Institute, Mexico City, Washington D.C. and New York all have rideshare taxes that fall between 1.5 and 8 percent for shared rides.