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San Francisco Approves Tax On Uber, Lyft Rides To Fix Streets, Reduce Traffic

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A measure that would tax rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft for each ride was approved by San Francisco officials. The city plans to put the measure on the November ballot to be decided by voters.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin is behind the proposal. He said the tax would allow the city to charge ride shares 3.25 percent of every ride, about 33 cents for every $10 ride. The fees would be less--1.5 percent--for carpool share rides.

"We can level the playing field by doing what Portland, New York, Chicago have done …we'll be the first in the state to go down this road," said Peskin.

The proliferation of rideshare services has crowded San Francisco's streets and has put wear and tear on them. Uber and Lyft have not been contributing funding toward fixing infrastructure problems.

Peskin says the fee would raise about $30 million dollars to help the city pay for everything from street re-surfacing to traffic enforcement to replacing traffic lights.

"Yes, it is true that Uber or Lyft can choose to pass some of that cost along to their riders. They have yet to say whether or not they are going to do that. But I think we all need to be a part of the solution," said Peskin.

KPIX reached out to Uber and Lyft, but neither returned comments. City leaders said, however, that the companies are on board with the fee raise. If the measure reaches a 2/3 majority vote, it could be implemented in early 2020.

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