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Economy

São Paulo Offers the Best Plan Yet for Dealing With Uber

Call it congestion pricing for taxi cabs.
A traffic jam in São Paulo on June 6, 2014, during a subway strike.
A traffic jam in São Paulo on June 6, 2014, during a subway strike.AP Photo/Nelson Antoine

Much like Keyser Soze, the greatest trick Uber ever played was convincing some of the world’s biggest cities that, when it comes to traffic, it doesn’t exist. But don’t count São Paulo, Brazil, among the fooled. The congestion-riddled metro recently proposed a bold, seemingly unprecedented plan for managing Uber, Lyft, and other e-hail cab outfits that threaten both to jam up local streets and to dissuade public officials from doing anything about it.

The beauty of the scheme is its simplicity: São Paulo wants to charge these companies a mileage fee.