Uber and Lyft are cutting into the DC Metro subway system’s ridership; it’s cheaper than cabs and more convenient than the train, with the added advantage of not having to share a moving jail cell with transit customers.
And in Democrat America, there is no greater sin than beating government:
The plan would increase D.C.’s tax on ride-hailing services from 1 percent to 4.75 percent. Nearly quintupling the city’s tax on ride-hailing services will have the obvious effect of driving prices up for customers, punishing them for choosing a product more to their liking.
Yet that’s how D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and WMATA Board Chairman and D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) proposed to raise a portion of D.C.’s “share” — $178.5 million — of the $500 million in new subsidies Metro craves. The council and mayor already approved their annual $178.5 million contribution for Metro, but the taxes that will ultimately serve as its source must be authorized through the District’s budget process.It is no wonder that Metro would want to hammer the competition with tax hikes. Ride-hailing services have contributed to Metro’s drastic decline in ridership, albeit in a relatively small way. And customers increasingly turn to the apps when Metro leaves them stranded. In some cases, Metro service disruptions have increased demand for ride-hailing services by as much as 25 percent.
But the tax adds insult to injury: It makes taxpayers prop up a service they do not want while making it more expensive for them to use preferred alternatives. The logic is clear: If it moves better than Metro, tax it.
Prediction: if bicycles start taking people off transit, you’ll see a tax on bikes and cement pylons on all the bike lanes.