WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Mayor Muriel Bowser slammed a D.C. councilmember’s proposal to charge an additional $2 fee to rideshares going to and from downtown.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau recently proposed the fee in order to cut down on traffic in the downtown area and to fund free bus rides in the District.
Bowser has been focused on getting revenue flowing back into downtown as we continue to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is against the idea of the additional fees that could impact the growth of that area.
“I think it’s a terrible idea,” said Bowser.
Nadeau put up the bill to add a $2 fee for “digital dispatch companies,” including Uber and Lyft, for rides starting or ending downtown.
The extra fee would be for rides ending in the downtown business district from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and originating in downtown from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wheelchair-accessible rides would be exempt and the additional fees are expected to add funding for those accessible services.
Bowser said she didn’t know all the details yet but had strong words about the proposal.
“Any effort to attack the downtown, taking capital dollars out, actually charging people to come downtown extra, is the antithesis to a comeback, to an investment in the comeback of downtown,” Bowser said.
Nadeau said the extra $2 would raise about $45 million dollars over the next several years. She said the money would fund free buses on at least 12 lines, offering 24-hour service, something she said the mayor cut from her budget.
Bowser said she submitted a balanced budget to the council that was fiscally responsible.
The proposal was approved unanimously by a committee on April 26.
It’s headed to the full council for a vote.