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Charlie Baker

Gov. Baker Proposes Hiking Uber, Lyft Fee to Pay for MBTA Improvements

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Less than a day after delivering the State of the Commonwealth address, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker presented his budget plan for the 2021 fiscal year on Wednesday.  

One of the key features of the $44.6 billion spending bill is a proposal to increase the per-ride fee for Uber and Lyft customers from 20 cents to $1, according to the Boston Business Journal. The state would receive 70 cents of each fee, with cities and towns receiving the remaining 30 cents.

Baker's budget calls for a $135 million increase in MBTA funding to support the agency's operating budget and cover safety and service improvements. The Uber and Lyft fee increases would cover more than half of that amount. The corporations oppose the measure.

In his speech on Tuesday night, Baker also detailed a $15 million partnership he will propose to expand vocation school offerings to adults and students at more traditional high schools. The budget is also expected to include the first year of new money from a $1.5 billion, seven-year overhaul of the state's public education funding formula.

The administration and legislative leaders agreed last week to a tax revenue estimate of more than $31 billion, representing 2.8 percent growth. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has forecast even slower revenue growth in fiscal 2021 that could result in a gap between revenues and expenses of $880 million.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker spoke Tuesday evening at the annual State of the Commonwealth event.
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