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Congestion Pricing—Only for Ride-Hailing Services

Uber and other ride hailing services have put a lot of cars on the road. Could a congestion fee on users of these services help curb the impact of those cars?
January 5, 2018, 10am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Winnie Hu argues that New York City should consider a congestion fee for ride share companies. The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has consistently resisted calls for congestion pricing to reduce pollution and congestion in the city, but Hu contends that the city may be able to create a more popular policy if it crafts a fee like the one recently voted into law in Chicago and took a congestion fee from ride hailing service users only.

Hu reports that the number of cars for hire has more than doubled in the city since 2013, and that many of those cars are riding New York's busiest streets without carrying passengers. To combat this new feature of the city, Hu argues riders in Ubers and other transportation network companies should pay a congestion fee.

Critics of Hu's article point out that this kind of targeted congestion pricing benefits drivers of private cars, who wouldn't pay this kind of fee; meaning that, while such a fee might take some passengers and drivers out of traffic and onto public transit, it's just as likely that it could be putting new drivers on the road, curbing neither pollution nor congestion.

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Published on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 in The New York Times
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