L.A. County’s Latest Idea to Ease Traffic Congestion: a Tax on Uber and Lyft

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A passenger exits an Uber at Union Station in Los Angeles in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

A passenger exits an Uber at Union Station in Los Angeles in this undated photo. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Transportation officials are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft rides in Los Angeles County, saying the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region.

The ride-hailing fee is in the early stages of discussion at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with more than a dozen other strategies to manage congestion and fund transportation projects before the 2028 Olympic Games.

Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax. The directors also will consider approving a study on congestion pricing, which would analyze the effects of converting more carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee for motorists to enter certain neighborhoods.

Once heralded as possible partners for transit agencies, Uber and Lyft have instead become fierce competition. A study of travel patterns in major U.S. cities last year found that 60% of customers would have gone by foot, bike or transit — or just stayed home — if the ride-hailing services had not been available.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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