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Congestion tax to target ride-sharing trips in downtown Chicago

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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled a plan Friday to tax ride-sharing services.

It's a way to raise revenue, and the mayor hopes a way to ease Chicago's downtown congestion.

Lightfoot vowed to do something about the congestion, and so she wants to triple the tax on solo ride-share trips in and out of downtown.

The extra charge would be in effect from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s expected to raise $40 million to help close the $838 million budget deficit.

Ride-share trips are currently assessed a flat 72 cents per ride in taxes and fees.

This new downtown zone surcharge comes out to $1.75 per-trip for single rides and 60 cents per-trip for shared rides.

The mayor rolled this out as she announced that the Department of Transportation and CTA will use $20 million to expand bus priority zones.

The idea is to improve people’s experience riding the bus. If the city can get people to pick the bus over driving, it might help with congestion.

"We can all see with our own eyes that congestion in the downtown area has increased exponentially, at times making the travel from one part of the Loop to another almost impassable. This is a problem that we must tackle this is the first step," said Lightfoot.

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