Ministers, Activists Speak Out Against Mayor's Proposed Congestion Tax

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Photo credit AP Foto/Patrick Semansky
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBMNEWSRADIO) -- Some ministers and activists are joining the rideshare industry’s efforts to head off Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed “c.”

Tim Jones, founder of the group “Leave No Potential on the Table” said plans to increase fees on rideshare services like Uber and Lift will especially hurt people on the South and West sides.

"There are some ultimate consequences of them filling a $838 million deficit, that they are going to be throwing some everyday Chicagoans in that hole," Jones said.

But Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareño said their numbers tell a different story.

"Nine out of 10 trips occurring on the South and West sides - and actually that is pretty much true for other neighborhoods that are further away from the downtown area - will qualify for an exemption, because there is actually a reduction when the trips are shared," Escareño said.

"If you want to ride solo in the community, and you still choose the rideshare option, you will still see the decrease. Again, we are trying to incentivize shared rides."

But, South Side Pastor Walter Turner still feels Uber and Lyft passengers are being singled out. 

"You're not taxing taxis, you are not taxing public transportation, you are not taxing trucks that cause major congestion," he said.

Most aldermen didn’t seem to press the issue at the Commissioner's budget hearing.