For immediate release
November 21, 2017
Statement on Chicago's ride hailing fee increase by Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance
The fee increases on Uber and Lyft rides to pay for public transit upgrades approved by Chicago City Council today is good news for everyone who cares about preserving healthy, sustainable and equitable transportation options across Chicago.
CTA faces an enormous backlog of repairs just to maintain current bus and rail infrastructure, and state leaders continue to slash funding despite the proven economic benefits of public transit investment.
This new fee should be just the start of a broader discussion about the city’s goals for new mobility services, including ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles, and the policies needed to achieve those goals. For example, many expected Uber and Lyft to reduce traffic congestion and boost transit, walking and bicycling by scaling back car ownership. To date, however, the opposite has happened as ride hailing is causing more traffic and a net reduction in transit ridership, and that is partly because Chicago lacks the right policies to maximize benefits across all transportation modes.
Rather than reacting to this changing environment, Chicago should be proactive and create a stakeholder process to identify goals and policies that move us in the right direction on our shared public health, environmental and equity goals. It’s important that Chicago’s stakeholder process include active transportation advocates, traffic safety advocates and community organizations.
The city’s approach should also include establishing a Vision Zero Fund in the city’s budget to pay for traffic safety infrastructure that protects our most vulnerable road users on the city’s most dangerous streets.
For interviews, please contact Ted Villaire, Active Transportation Alliance communications director
O: (312) 216-0484
C: (312) 563-1118