Skip to content

Uber and Lyft Promise to Play By the Rules (Sort Of)

In Massachusetts, New York, Portland, and beyond, ride-hailing companies have made some gestures of conciliation.
It's no secret who wins this battle.
It's no secret who wins this battle.Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Reuters reported Monday that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a 20-cent per-trip fee on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft. That in itself is not too strange: Plenty of municipalities already levy sales taxes on those services. With the Bay State’s new tax, 10 cents will be designated for municipalities and 5 cents would be dropped in a state transportation fund.

What was weird was that the remaining five cents of that tariff will be handed over to the ride-hailers longtime arch-enemies, the traditional taxi industry. As Reuters reported, it appears to be the first subsidy of its kind in the U.S. And it seems to be a win-win resolution in a battle over taxi-industry “disruption” that’s raged as hard in Massachusetts as anywhere.