Reduce VMT by congestion mitigation tax

Description: A ballot proposal was passed in San Francisco, CA in November 2019 that would place a tax on rideshare companies (also known as Transportation Network Companies) like Uber and Lyft. On a typical weekday, it is estimated that there are 170,000 rideshare trips (15% of total trips) in San Francisco. At peak periods, this percentage can rise to 25% in downtown and South of Market. Rideshare companies were estimated to be responsible for about 50% of the congestion increase in the city from 2010 to 2016.

Passengers for rides originating in San Francisco are taxed 1.5% for a shared ride or 3.25% for a solo ride starting in 2020. The tax—which would sunset in 2045—also will apply to any self-driving autonomous vehicle services introduced later. All rides in zero-emission vehicles are taxed at 1.5%. The new tax is expected to raise about $32M/year.

New York City implemented a similar congestion tax on all for-hire vehicles (including taxis, limos, in addition to rideshare companies) in portions of Manhattan effective January 1, 2019.

Massachusetts & Portland currently have a very low flat fee/ride for rideshare. Boston is considering adding a congestion surcharge within its city limits.

Goal: Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by Congestion Mitigation tax for commercial rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft

Measurement: Reduced congestion and increased mass transit ridership and active transport

Time to Implement: About a year to negotiate fee with Uber/Lyft and get on the ballot.


Link to San Francisco ordinance on ridesharing tax

Chicago’s new rideshare congestion tax effective Jan 2020

Additional Information:

Tax on Uber, Lyft rides heading to voters – The San Francisco Examiner

Local groups supporting San Francisco congestion tax

Data Confirms Uber and Lyft Jam up San Francisco

Rideshare fees funding projects in Massachusetts

Interesting statistics in Portland and other cities

Taxing the New Economy in Philadelphia

City of Portland and Port of Portland TNC fees – see page 2

Contact Info:

Office of San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Sectors(s) Transportation & Land Use
State(s) , , , ,
Location(s) , , , ,
Date First Adopted Varies
Last Updated November 7, 2021
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