New Shared Mobility Tax, More Traffic Cameras Could Be Headed to Seattle

Proposals before the city council include a per-vehicle tax on shared bikes and scooters and a hike to the city’s vehicle registration fee.

1 minute read

November 3, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Three people standing next to Lime bikeshare bikes looking out over water toward the Seattle skyline

steve estvanik / Seattle bike riders

Seattle’s city council will weigh proposed amendments to the city budget that would raise the city’s vehicle licensing fee, double the number of speed cameras in school zones, and impose a $0.25 per-vehicle fee for shared mobility operators, among other items. Writing in The Urbanist, Ryan Packer explains that the city wants to find new sources of revenue to fund transportation and mobility projects.

Packer questions whether adding a fee to bike and scooter travel would discourage their use when the cost of an average scooter trip is already more than twice as much as a bus trip. “City council central staff thinks, based on 2022 usage info, that the tax would generate $716,000 per year, revenue that would only come in after the city spends an estimated $540,000 to implement the fee. After that, the funds are specifically restricted to protected bike lanes, traffic calming, and other vision zero projects.”

Packer points out that “Whether free-floating bike and scooter share programs are even here to stay is far from a sure thing, with the city now on its third or fourth iteration of rental companies who have deployed vehicles on the city’s streets.”

Packer outlines a list of transportation projects proposed by city councilmembers, such as pedestrian safety improvements, street trees, traffic calming, and bike lane barriers.

Monday, October 31, 2022 in The Urbanist

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