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The Chicago Way

Chicago is considering slapping a “congestion charge” on Uber and Lyft. You can read all about it over at Parknews.biz.

Cities in Europe, London particularly, have used the congestion charge to help reduce traffic in certain congested areas of the city. And in many cases, it has worked, moving people out of private vehicles and into public transportation.

Chicago doesn’t seem to be concerned about congestion but is using the tax as a way to collect and additional 40 million a year to help fill a budget shortfall. I doubt if a couple of bucks additional on a Uber or Lyft ride will make much difference in whether folks take the TNC or move over to the metro. And since the tax doesn’t apply to private vehicles, those drivers will be unaffected.

There is no question that congestion charges are difficult to get through in any political environment and most likely extremely difficult in Chicago. However taxing TNCs is relatively easy and calling it a ‘congestion charge’ makes it easier for the Windy City to swallow.

Oh, well…another way to collect revenue and little or no result to show for it.

JVH

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