The City Council wants more regulations for ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.
The council held a hearing earlier this week and believes these companies are part of the reason Boston’s traffic keeps getting worse.
“It’s just getting worse and worse and worse,” said City Councilor Michelle Wu.
According to city officials, there were 115,000 trips a day made in the city in 2018 and the number will rise this year. A study shows that 42 percent of Uber or Lyft riders would use public transportation if they couldn’t use the ride sharing apps.
“It doesn’t seem like TNCs (transportation network companies) are being a good neighbor,” said City Councilor Ed Flynn.
Uber and Lyft were invited to the hearing, however, decided not to attend. “I’m not very happy with them,” said Flynn.
According to City Councilor Matt O’Malley, TNCs make up about eight percent of Boston’s traffic. “That’s a real impact,” he said. “Traffic in Boston is at a critical level.”
O’Malley supports and uses Uber and Lyft, but believes regulations could be put in place to help the city.
There is currently a 20 cent tax on all Uber and Lyft rides. Some councilors believe the tax should be higher.
“I’d like to have a frank discussion about how could we monetize this,” City Councilor Frank Baker said. “How do we tax this industry more?”
Baker is also worried about the impact TNCs have had on the taxi industry.
“How do we help the taxi industry,” he asked. “I don’t think we should be trying to give a leg up to their competitors. We know these people are from our neighborhoods. We don’t know who the Uber driver are always.”
Other councilors want more pick up and drop off designated areas in the city.
City Councilor Michael Flaherty wants to crackdown on drivers who are double parking and driving recklessly in the city. “I just don’t think there’s much enforcement going on in respect to that,” Flaherty said.
The state would need to change the laws surrounding TNCs for anything to change. Flynn believes TNCs are here to stay in Boston and wants to work with them to make it a better situation for everyone.
“They have become a part of the overall transportation network,” said Flynn.