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Uber: Tolling downtown Seattle streets would bring in millions in revenue

By: KIRO 7 News Staff

SEATTLE – Rideshare company Uber has sponsored a report on tolling downtown Seattle streets that says it would increase transit use and bring in millions of dollars in revenue. 

The report proposes a morning and evening toll of $1.50 to $3.80 that would push more people to transit and save commuters an average of 6 minutes. 

Gross revenue would be $130 million per year, according to Uber. 

The report outlines a tolling area that includes all of downtown Seattle. 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Dukan has said she wants a tolling policy in place by 2021 and has also considered tolling only rideshare drivers.

Consultants hired by the city say cities like London saw 30 percent drops in traffic after introducing the tolls, but councilmembers like Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant have said they are against it.

“The reason a lot of people are able not to drive in London is because they have far superior public transportation,” Sawant said. 

Some city leaders also worry that a tolling plan could place more burden on low-income drivers. 

The Uber report proposes using some of the revenues to rebate those who would be disproportionately affected.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office sent KIRO 7’s Rob Munoz the follow statement in response to Uber’s report: 

“We are committed to additional community engagement and conversations with stakeholders as the City works to balance equity concerns with the immediate challenge of reducing carbon emissions and improving transit. The Mayor is committed to moving forward with congestion pricing in a fair and equitable way that includes community input.” 

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