Revenue usages, pricing schemes, and media discussions for taxing ridesourcing services

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Shared mobility is transforming transportation in major urban cities. This paper focuses on taxes and fees on ridesourcing services, particularly those revenue strategies levied on their usages, generally on a per trip basis. These revenue strategies are analyzed from three main aspects. First, the usage of revenues was assessed. The majority of localities use them as a mechanism to cover regulatory costs or fill budget gaps, with very few using the proceeds to improve transportation systems or mobility overall. Second, the different pricing schemes used across localities were looked into. Most localities have adopted a fixed fee/surcharge charged per trip. Only two localities have established differential fees depending on the type of ride, aiming to increase vehicle occupancy and reduce traffic congestion. Lastly, a media analysis was conducted to examine the rationale for imposing a revenue-raising strategy, perceptions of key stakeholders, and ongoing discussions. Most debates around the adoption of the revenue-raising strategy involved the legislative and executive branches of governments at different levels, transportation network companies (TNCs), taxi businesses, and so forth. Supporters argued that the measure contributes to customer safety and the enhancement of equitable transportation options for all residents, while opponents stated concerns about the disproportionate impact of the measure on the middle-class and low-income populations. The findings provide a framework of current practices to assist state and local governments to make informed decisions in relation to TNC taxes and regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project is supported by the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) program, which is funded by the Minnesota Legislature (grant number: MNDOT Contract 1003325 Work Order 124).

Publisher Copyright:
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.


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