Minneapolis mayor asks City Council to pump the brakes on rideshare ordinance

Minneapolis mayor asks City Council to pump the brakes on rideshare ordinance

Minneapolis mayor asks City Council to pump the brakes on rideshare ordinance

On the eve of the Minneapolis City Council taking up an ordinance on rideshare driver pay, Mayor Jacob Frey warned that if passed, Uber and Lyft could leave town.

“I don’t care about their bottom line (Uber and Lyft) I do care about having this service in the city, I do care about getting drivers paid more money, and I care that the service itself is affordable to people that need it,” Frey said.

The ordinance would establish set pay for rideshare drivers on Minneapolis streets, setting pay at $1.40 per mile, and .51 cents a minute while transporting a passenger. It also calls for a flat $5 dollar minimum per trip and 80% of any canceled ride fees the company charges would then go to the driver.

“Businesses across the city that are paying a minimum wage to their employees and their workers, we shouldn’t allow exemptions for rideshare drivers,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley at a recent meeting.

Wonsley is one of three City Council members who drafted the ordinance.

Minneapolis City Council has the proposal on Thursday morning’s agenda.

Frey said he’d veto the ordinance as written; the City Council would need a nine-vote supermajority to override the mayor.

In a letter, Lyft told the city council president it’s recently instituted a “$5 per ride pay minimum” and drivers will earn “at least 70% of what riders pay on a weekly basis, after external fees.”

Lyft also wrote, “…if this proposal becomes law, Lyft will be forced to cease operations in the City of Minneapolis, and possibly the rest of the state, on its effective date of April 1, 2024.”

Uber spokesperson Josh Gold provided this statement last week to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

“The proposed rates mean much higher prices for riders and less work and pay for drivers. After a period of near record inflation there aren’t many governments out there whose big idea is to make things more expensive. We have numerous concerns with the legislation which would force us to cease operating a transportation network company.  The Governor’s task force put forward a comprehensive statewide proposal and we look forward to continuing working with the legislature on getting that passed this year.”

Rideshare driver Fahan Bidel testified before a council committee recently supporting the ordinance.

“Just asking for fair compensation, it’s been really hard the last couple of years with inflation, the cost of living is going up, our rates have decreased,” Bidel said.       

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