Uber and Lyft rides in Salisbury could get a little more expensive.
Salisbury will consider adding a 25 cent fee to all rides from transportation network service companies in the city.
Under the assessment, riders would pay an extra 25 cents per ride.
The revenue collected from this program would be used for transportation purposes, such as maintaining the city’s roads and funding safety improvements.
The Salisbury City Council discussed the potential ordinance during the Sept. 20 work session. It will move forward and should be discussed at a future council meeting.
Salisbury Director of Infrastructure and Development Amanda Pollack and Transportation Project Specialist William White presented the potential ordinance to the council.
“It’s essentially free money out there for us,” Pollack said to the council. “It’s an untapped revenue source.”
White said if Salisbury implements the fee, it will know how many rides happen within the city. This data is not currently available to the city.
The fee would not apply to taxis. Several council members raised questions about this, including Councilman Muir Boda, who said he does not support the fee in general.
Boda suggested if the council does pass the ordinance, then it should look into applying a similar fee for taxis.
If Salisbury decides to implement the fee, it must inform Wicomico County and the Maryland Comptroller Office at least 120 days before the assessment would take effect.
In 2015, the General Assembly passed a law allowing municipalities and counties to institute assessments of up to 25 cents on transportation network service company rides.
Thus far, Ocean City, Annapolis, Baltimore, Brunswick, the city of Frederick, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County have introduced fees.
Maddie Aiken covers local government for Delmarva Now/The Daily Times. Have a story tip or idea? Send it her way at email@example.com or on Twitter @madsaiken.