October 2, 2020

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Governor Seeks To Lift Ban On Surge Pricing During COVID Emergency

By
Shira Schoenbeerg
Commonwealth Magazine

TechNet, a trade association of technology company executives, wrote a letter to Baker in June asking him to lift the ban on surge pricing. Technet Northeast executive director Christina Fisher wrote in the letter that the ban was designed to address weather emergencies that lasted for days, “before an unprecedented, prolonged emergency like the COVID pandemic was even contemplated.”

Fisher wrote that the ban on surge pricing has harmed drivers’ earnings while contributing to a shortage of available cars. She said 57 percent of riders requesting rides to Boston area hospitals have not been able to get a trip – and those who are able to get rides are seeing a 320 percent increase in wait times. In the long-term, she warned, “If people still feel uncomfortable riding public transportation and also cannot rely on TNCs, they might be pushed to buy a personal vehicle and never use public transportation as a regular option again which would only serve to worsen the region’s significant pre-COVID traffic challenges.”

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