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February 16, 2017

Philly schools project more than $2 million in revenue from ridehailing apps

Transportation Education
School District of Philadelphia headquarters Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street.

Philadelphia public schools received the first set of funds from ridehailing services that are now operating legally in the city, the school district announced.

On Thursday, the School District of Philadelphia added $357,593.31 to its general operating fund from fees generated by Uber, Lyft and other companies. Superintendent Dr. William Hite praised the city's delegation in the state legislature for directing revenue to the schools.

“The best system for the School District of Philadelphia is one that gives us predictable revenue sources, and receiving our first portion of rideshare funds is another positive step in that direction," Hite said.

However, the money only represents tax revenue earned during the summer when state lawmakers approved a temporary measure to legalize the business between July and September.

That bill dedicated two-thirds of one percent of ridehailing revenues to the district and one-third of one percent to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

In October, state lawmakers agreed to permanently make ridehailing services legal, but imposed a higher tax on revenue. Under the law, Philly schools receive two-thirds of a 1.4 percent while the PPA gets the remaining third from Uber, Lyft and other companies.

Future payments will be made to the district quarterly. The next payment, which covers the period from Nov. 4 to Dec. 31, will total $411,381.12.

Using those figures, school district officials project between $2 and $2.5 million annually in revenue going forward.

“In just a short time, revenue has been generated that will directly benefit our schools," said state Sen. Vincent Hughes said. "This funding is expected to continue to grow as rideshare companies become a more popular transportation choice for consumers, and that’s good news for our schoolchildren.”