L.A. County Thinks That Added Taxes On Uber And Lyft Will Help Ease Traffic Congestion

Malia Wooten Malia Wooten

L.A. County Thinks That Added Taxes On Uber And Lyft Will Help Ease Traffic Congestion

The city continues to think of ways to reduce L.A. traffic before the 2028 Olympics.

In efforts to encourage the use public transportation as well as reducing air pollution, Southern California lawmakers are considering replicating other major cities like London and Washington D.C. where commuters are charged a toll to get into the downtown areas.

Transportation officials are now, also, considering adding a tax on Uber and Lyft rides because they believe the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region. This Thursday the Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote on the approval of a study analyzing how constructive ride-hailing tax in addition to congestion pricing, converting carpool lanes to toll lanes, and taxing drivers by the mile would be.

It sounds crazy! Especially considering that having a car as a Californian feels equivalent to having freedom. The movement may seem unfortunate (because who wants to pay, even more, to drive around) but apparently, the city hasn’t been making enough money through charging gas taxes. It’s estimated that charging vehicles by the mile would raise over $102 billion in 10 years with a downtown entrance fee would raise over $12 billion! This is major since the city is focused on raising extra revenue to improve the city’s highway network as well as expand mass transit before the 2028 Summer Olympics.

On the other hand, a study of travel patterns in major U.S. cities reveals that 60% of customers would have gone by foot, bike or transit — or just stayed home — if ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft weren’t available.

Also published on Medium.

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