Uber, Lyft Say They're Quitting Minneapolis

City council voted to pass ordinance increasing driver wages
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2024 4:34 AM CDT
Uber, Lyft Say They're Quitting Minneapolis
Ride-hailing drivers celebrate in Minneapolis, Thursday, March 7, 2024, immediately after Minneapolis City Council members voted to pass a measure that would increase wages to drivers of companies including Uber and Lyft.   (AP Photo/Trisha Ahmed)

Lyft and Uber vowed to cease operations in Minneapolis after the city's council voted Thursday to override a mayoral veto and require that ride-hailing services increase driver wages to the equivalent of the local minimum wage of $15.57 an hour. Lyft called the ordinance "deeply flawed," saying in a statement that it supports a minimum earning standard for drivers but not the one passed by the council, the AP reports. "It should be done in an honest way that keeps the service affordable for riders," Lyft said. "This ordinance makes our operations unsustainable, and as a result, we are shutting down operations in Minneapolis when the law takes effect on May 1."

Uber issued a similar statement with the same deadline, Fox 9 reports. Both companies promised to push for statewide legislation that would counter the Minneapolis ordinance, and state House Republicans proposed a bill Thursday that would preempt local regulations of ride-hailing services. The City Council first passed the measure last week in a 9-4 vote despite Mayor Jacob Frey's promise to veto it. The measure requires ride-hailing companies to pay drivers at least $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute for the time spent transporting a rider—or $5 per ride, whichever is greater—excluding tips. In the event of a multi-city trip, that only applies to the portion that takes place within Minneapolis.

Critics of the bill say costs will likely spike for everyone, including people with low incomes and people with disabilities who rely on ride-hailing services. Supporters say the services have relied on drivers who are often people of color and immigrants for cheap labor. "Drivers are human beings with families, and they deserve dignified minimum wages like all other workers," Jamal Osman, a council member who co-authored the policy, said in a statement. Seattle and New York City have passed similar policies in recent years that increase wages for ride-hailing drivers, and Uber and Lyft still operate in those cities.

(More Minneapolis stories.)

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