Taxing Uber

David R. Agrawal, Weihua Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ride-hailing applications create new challenges for governments providing transit services, but also create new opportunities to raise tax revenue. To shed light on the effect of taxing or subsidizing ride-hailing services, we extend a pseudo-monocentric city model to include multiple endogenously chosen transportation modes, including ride-hailing applications and endogenous car ownership. We show that most tax and spending programs that cities have currently adopted mildly increase public transit usage. However, the model predicts more significant increases in public transit ridership when ride-hailing applications are subsidized as a “last-mile” provider. Our model indicates that whether ride-hailing services and public transit are substitutes or complements is a policy choice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104862
JournalJournal of Public Economics
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Optimal tolls
  • Public transit
  • Ride-hailing
  • Taxation
  • Traffic congestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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