Chicago Ride-Share Tax Hikes Take Effect Monday

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Uber and Lyft rides in Chicago just got more expensive, as a new tax on ride-share services took effect Monday.

The new tax is part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's 2020 budget, which passed City Council in November. She proposed the tax increase in October in an effort to ease traffic congestion and incentivize use of public transportation.

Beginning Monday, Chicago's Ground Transportation Tax increases on all single ride-sharing trips from $0.60 per trip to $1.13 per trip. But to encourage use of shared rides, the Ground Transportation Tax does decrease from $0.60 per shared trip to $0.53 per shared trip citywide.

The ordinance also designates a downtown zone where trips beginning or ending within specific borders between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., would be charged an additional $1.75 per single ride and $0.60 per trip for shared rides. That zone stretches from North Avenue to Roosevelt Road in the south, and Lakeshore Drive to the Chicago River's North Branch in the north, along Grand Avenue, then out as far as Ashland Avenue to the west.

The passage of the tax increases was contentious, with Uber encouraging riders to lobby aldermen against the measure, and Lightfoot accusing Uber of "paying off" black ministers in exchange for their help pushing back on it.

Uber says the increases now mean Chicago's rideshare surcharges are the highest in the country.

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