COLORADO SPRINGS — The nearly $5.3 billion transportation funding bill that aims at improving the state's roads and infrastructure over the next decade is now awaiting Governor Jared Polis' signature.
Senate Bill 260 will impose a series of road-user fees on the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel, deliveries, car rentals, electric vehicle registration, and rideshare trips, to generate billions of dollars to help fund new and existing transportation projects. Most of the projected revenue is expected to come from fees on gasoline and diesel.
"I understood why they did it, but I feel like it's really going to hurt the rideshare community," said Ryan Breakey, Owner of the Rideshare Co.
He's been driving Uber and Lyft for five years and says the proposed fees will have a huge impact on the rideshare industry.
"It'll be five years for me in June so I've seen the ups and downs of driving for Uber and Lyft. I'm the type of person that's willing to ride the wave. For full-time drivers, when gas goes up and different stuff like this, they are the ones affected more than the ones that do it part-time," said Breakey.
With rideshare services seeing a 30-cent-per-trip fee and 15-cent-per-trip for carpools and electric vehicles, he's worried about how that will impact riders.
"Most customers won't mind, but there are a lot of customers that use Uber and Lyft to get around to point a and b," said Breakey. "Some people feel taking Uber or Lyft is cheaper than owning a car and paying those payments."
Breakey says the proposed fees, which include a 2 cent per gallon on gasoline and diesel fee, may impact the number of drivers on the road.
"If gasoline continues to go up, it's only going to hurt the driver shortage than help it. Right now we are seeing a lot of drivers get back on the road and a lot of new drivers signing up. If gas goes up, soon these drivers who did continue to drive through the pandemic is going to say this isn't worth it," said Breakey.
Mayor John Suthers says the measure will be key in providing much-needed funds to major state and local transportation projects.
"The fees that are generated feed into the Highway User Trust Fund and that's divided 60-40 state local. In 2023, we are anticipating an additional $7 million to Colorado Springs in HTFU dollars. So that transportation bill will impact both state highways in our Pikes Peak Region and it will mean more money for the city," said Suthers.
While the proposed fees may impact the rideshare industry, Breakey says he's in support of the bill if it helps the state's roads.
"If it helps the roads and helps keep them in better condition, I'm all for it," said Breakey.
Rideshare fees begin in July 2022-2023. Riders' costs will depend on how often they take an uber ride or get door dash. The demographic note estimates that folks might pay about $8 more per year total on deliveries for about 30 orders per year and about $1-2 more per year on rideshares (4-6 rides per year).