Lyft's announcement this week that the ride-hailing company is donating $ 700,000 to expand transportation options in Oakland's low-income neighborhoods was hailed by Oakland's mayor, Libby Schaaf, as a way of "undoing the wrongs of the past."  According to the mayor's office, Lyft's grant will pay for a participatory design process for the creation of new parklets and bike share stations, and a bike lending library. It also seeks to provide subsidized local transit passes and lft rides in cars and scooters for qualifying low-income residents in areas of Oakland where transportation infrastructure is chronically underfunded.
But last year, Lyft and Uber, the ride-hailing marketplace's duopoly , lobbied Oakland officials to pay a $ 0.50 per ride municipal tax. According to city staff, the amount of tax was $ 2.5m per year, compared to the previous year. 1
Lyft did not respond to questions for this report
The Ride-Hailing Tax Introduced by Rebecca Kaplan in September 2017 as a means of generating revenue to improve transportation and transit services, among other needs. To justify a new tax, Chaplain the rapid growth of Lyft and Uber in Oakland and the fact that they are paying no more taxes on the city and on the streets "Kaplan said at the time."
However, other Oakland leaders have been hesitant to explore any kind of ride-hailing tax. Instead, public records reveal that city leaders have ways to help Uber and Lyft bolster their corporate images by having them invest in city real estate or make grants to local not-for-profit organizations.  For example, in 2016, the Oakland councilman Larry Reid and Schaaf's staff sought a meeting with the possibility of overriding the possibility of buying the Oakland Coliseum, which is owned by the city.  Oakland 's so-called "officials" were playing the role of broker between Uber and his then CEO, Travis Kalanick, who were trying to rehabilitate the company's image. In one instance, Girls, Inc, wrote: "To work with Oakland youth, wrote to Schaaf in August 2016 seeking a connection to" the powers that be at Uber ".
The mayor's office made the introduction.
Later that year, at Oakland landlord wrote to Schaaf's staff seeking a meeting with executives in hopes What to do in Arizona.
The mayor's staff forwarded the request to Uber's lobbyist with a quick note: "Let's talk."
By the time chaplain added the $ 0.50 ride hailing tax to Oakland's November 2018 election ballot, few other city officials appeared supportive of the concept.
Abel Guillen during a city hearing said: "I'm not sure what the problem is we're trying to solve this tax."
Lobbying disclosure records show that Lyft officials are discussing "matters affecting transportation and the transportation network industry", as well as proposed regulations of scooters, whic h Lyft operates.
City Records show that Uber's lobbyist had meetings with the Mayor's chief of staff and multiple city council members about the proposed tax measure in 2018.
Lyft also joined the local Oakland Chamber of Commerce, and afterward, the chamber's lobbyist with the mayor and several council members to convince them that the ride-hailing tax was a bad idea. According to city records, the companies promoted "mutually agreed upon pilot projects"
Lyft and Uber Tax last July, a city council committee voted to kill the tax proposal.