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Prince George’s Uber, Lyft users could soon be paying a county surcharge

(Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)

Prince George’s County is considering a proposal to impose a 25-cent surcharge on rides using Uber, Lyft and similar services.

The per-trip surcharge would be used to finance improvements to the county’s bus system and increase the number of accessible taxicabs; it would be applied to every trip  originating in the county.

The proposal was voted out of the Prince George’s County Council’s transportation committee last week, and could go up for a vote before the full council next month.  The surcharge would be consistent with what other jurisdictions are doing to generate revenue from the growing app-based services and use it to pay for other transportation-related services.

Under the proposed bill, the funds would be used to pay for costs associated with the purchase, operation, and maintenance of county buses, including increased bus frequency and new or expanded bus routes in underserved areas of the county. The money also would be used to increase the number of taxis equipped to provide service for people with disabilities by providing funds to retrofit taxicabs or purchase new accessible ones.

Similar surcharges are applied to trips in the District and Montgomery County, and are generally passed on to passengers.  In the District, passengers are charged 1 percent of the cost of their trip. The money goes to the D.C. Taxicab Commission, which uses it to expand the accessible fleet.

Montgomery County recently approved a 25-cent surcharge. The funds will be used to help offset the costs of purchasing and retrofitting accessible taxicabs and facilitate the delivery of accessible taxicab services in the county.