They say the only things you can rely on are death and taxes. I disagree – you can also rely on prices going up. They just did for Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing programs.
This time, though, it’s not their fault; these are things that certain cities have put into place. Surcharges, taxes and fees are, of course, not under the control of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies. Instead, they’re what the local governments say ride-sharing companies have to pay, for reasons, which are then passed on to the riders.
Here’s what’s new, effective January 1, 2020:
Effective January 1, 2020, any ride-sharing ride that starts within the city limits has a 3.25% tax for private rides. The tax drops to 1.4% on shared rides or rides in zero-emission (electric) cars.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the extra revenue, which they think will be up to $30M to $35M per year, will be placed in a Traffic Congestion Mitigation Fund. Half of that money will go to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority to meet demands for capacity, maintain infrastructure and ensure the system remains reliable. The other half will go to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, for planning and designing capital improvement projects.
In an effort to cut down on congestion, the City of Chicago began instituting more fees for ride-sharing in certain parts of the city and at certain times of the day.
From Uber Blog: “…trips that start or end in the Central Business District during peak times (6am and 10pm on weekdays) will have a surcharge of $3 for non-shared rides and $1.25 for shared rides. Outside of those peak times, UberX or UberXL rides anywhere in Chicago will be subject to a $1.25 surcharge and Pool trips will be subject to a $0.65 surcharge.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has raised the per-trip fees for ride-sharing from $4.00 to $5.00. This affects rides in/out of Reagan National and Dulles International airports.
At Reagan National, the airport had to hire extra police officers to manage the increase of traffic from ride-sharing vehicles, as well as build a waiting lot for ride-sharing drivers. Ridesharing has cut down on airport parking revenue.
At Dulles, the airport has spent a significant amount of money on signage, as well as roadway changes, due to the increase in ride-sharing.
This one hasn’t happened quite yet (and still may or may not) but the Phoenix City Council voted late last year to approve a surcharge on ride-sharing transportation in and out of Sky Harbor Airport, in an attempt to offset the cost of ground transportation on the airport’s infrastructure.
The surcharge would $4.00 and raised annually until it was $5.00 in 2024.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is trying to overturn the ordinance, arguing it is “very likely” unconstitutional and probably violates a 2018 ballot measure that prohibits higher taxes on services.
Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft both say they will no longer service Phoenix Sky Harbor if the surcharge goes through.
The Arizona Supreme Court will hear arguments about this on March 16th.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary