Readers React: Taxing Uber and Lyft rides is punishment in a city without enough transit options
To the editor: Metro’s proposal of a tax on Uber and Lyft rides would be a good idea if our transit infrastructure were fully built out. I use public transit a lot, but there are times when Uber or Lyft is the better option.
For example, I live in Van Nuys, but most of my doctors are affiliated with a hospital in Santa Monica. Using transit, the best one-way travel time between my residence and that facility is just short of an hour and a half. In comparison, the worst travel time I have ever experienced with Uber was 40 minutes.
The other urban areas discussed with such a tax — New York, Chicago and San Francisco — have more transit infrastructure than we do. That’s why their “user fees” work there as a disincentive to use ride-sharing services.
Here, such a tax would be more of a penalty when there is no good option for the passenger.
Kymberleigh Richards, Van Nuys
Richards was a member of the Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council from 2003 to 2014.
To the editor: Tax Uber and Lyft? Yes, and give that money to the taxi drivers who have lost much of their income because of these ride-hailing companies.
These drivers, many of them immigrants, are paying for homes and raising children who are going to college. They pay for their cars and their insurance and are licensed. They deserve a break.
I have been using the same taxi company for many years and have gotten to know many of these very fine people. Several professional drivers in New York City have committed suicide because they lost much of their incomes to gig drivers.
Down with Uber and Lyft, and up with their taxes!
Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey
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