Uber, Lyft to face tax for allegedly increasing traffic congestion in San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Two major U.S. ride-hailing companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are facing a tax for allegedly creating traffic congestion in San Francisco as the city's Mayor London Breed is co-sponsoring a proposal to collect surcharges from them.

Breed's office said Tuesday that the mayor and city Supervisor Aaron Peskin will introduce a ballot measure at the Board of Supervisors that would add a surcharge to rides made by Uber and Lyft passengers.

The legislation, if enforced, will impose a 3.25 percent surcharge on all single rides called by passengers using Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies.

Passengers who share their rides on Uber, Lyft or electric vehicles will be collected a 1.5 percent surcharge for their trips in the city.

The plan, which needs approval from six supervisors before moving on to the November 2019 ballot, is expected to raise about 35 million U.S. dollars annually to better fund public transit. Being a tax proposal put forth by the city, two-thirds of the vote will be needed for its passage.

"This measure will invest in our public transportation, continue to make our streets safer, and reduce congestion so that people can get around easier," said Breed. "This is a collaborative approach to advance San Francisco's transit-first policy and mitigate the impact of TNC (Transportation Network Companies) trips on our streets."

Peskin, who chairs the San Francisco Transportation Authority Board (TAB), tweeted Tuesday that the city is notorious for its bad traffic.

"San Franciscans know traffic is some of the worst in the country & investing in public transit & @VisionZeroSF safety projects can help get people out of their cars. We also know everyone needs to do their part, including TNC companies, to get us there," he said in the tweet.

A TAB report released earlier this month blamed Uber and Lyft for two-thirds of a 62 percent rise in congestion in San Francisco over six years from 2010 to 2016. Enditem

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