Popular ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are now in city governments’ crosshairs, receiving tax hits from areas across the nation.
One example of the tax hits is New York’s ongoing proposals to impose a new fee for carpooling without the use of a private car, in part done to reverse the decline in public transportation ridership.
In Chicago, the city council also increased fees by $.15 for every trip in an effort to reduce congestion.
In exchange for sympathy, Uber and Lyft have gone all-out with public relations campaigns, with Uber offering to help struggling New York City taxi drivers with a $100 million “hardship fund“ for medallion owners, who have seen the value of their medallions drop by as much as 80 percent with an increase in driver suicides.
Of course, these funds come with an unusual condition – not capping the number of Uber vehicles in the city.
Time will tell whether cities will better serve the interests of public transportation or cave-in to the ride-hailing giants.