New York joined a growing number of governments this week when it placed a fee on ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The state-imposed surcharge, which is part of New York’s 2019 budget, is intended to raise money for mass transit.
The move comes on the heels of a similar one in Chicago, where late last year the city council slapped a 15-cent increase to its existing 52-cent fee for every ride-sharing trip. Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed for the fee amid a growing body of evidence that the popular ride-sharing industry is worsening congestion in cities and taking potential customers away from public transit.
Last year, transportation researchers from the University of California, Davis, published a working paper that found that ride-sharing services in seven major urban areas were adding car trips to city and suburban streets, often at the expense of public transportation.