PPA Proposes Fee for Regulating Taxis, Uber and Lyft

The cash-strapped organization reportedly has only eight inspectors monitoring more than 20,000 ride-hailing vehicles across the city.

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The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to add a 50-cent surcharge to every taxi, Uber and Lyft ride originating in the city.

The organization says the fee would go toward regulating the vehicles – which will hopefully ensure safer rides for passengers.

Executive director Scott Petri told KYW that the proposed move is about public safety. As it stands now, the cash-strapped PPA has only eight inspectors monitoring between 22,000 to 25,000 ride-hailing vehicles across the city, according to the Inquirer. In Philly, Uber passengers have made several notable complaints about drivers.

“Based upon the volume of complaints we have and what we see in the inspections we’re able to do, we think the public is at risk,” Petri told KYW.

Petri said the new fee could bring in up to $13.5 million a year. Two-thirds of that would go to toward the School District of Philadelphia, per the Inquirer. The fee would reportedly be assessed on taxi and ride-hailing services, though the organization anticipates that it could then be passed down to passengers.

Petri told said the average fare in Philadelphia is $10, so a 50-cent tax would represent 5 percent of that.

The PPA currently charges a 1 percent fee for cabs and a 1.4 percent fee for ride sharing services. That tax is set to expire on December 31, 2019.

The surcharge proposal has a long way to go: It would require state legislature approval.