As a strong supporter and advocate for Chicago’s public transportation, MPC is proud to support Chicago’s new policy on ride-hailing trips. Under the mayor’s plan, the 52 cent fee added to every ride on Uber and Lyft will rise to 67 cents in 2018 and 72 cents in 2019. This revenue will fund nearly $180 million in needed improvements, including security cameras and monitors at stations and track upgrades.
Recent research by the University of California-Davis on ride-hailing in seven metro areas, including Chicago, showed that these services are increasing car trips in the city, congesting our streets and cannibalizing transit. MPC believes it is in our region’s best interest to prioritize and fund public transportation. Investments in transit benefit everyone in the region; both transit riders and drivers save time because of the region’s robust transit system.
CTA provides, via bus and rail, more than 80 percent of the public transit trips in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area either by direct service or service connecting to Metra and Pace. Chicago’s transit system is critical to residents’ mobility and the region’s economic health. Transit investments funded by the ride-hailing fee will save riders time (up to six minutes per trip) and make transit trips more reliable.
Maintenance of the CTA transit system has been a challenging, however, given chronic underinvestment in transit. According to the Regional Transportation Authority, the backlog of maintenance to get the CTA system to a state of good repair is $12.5 billion. In 2018 the State of Illinois will cut $33 million in state funding to CTA.
The ride-hailing fee is an innovative solution to both addressing the 2018 budget deficit and making long-term investments in transit.