New York City passes $17 minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Drivers working for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have been pushing for better working conditions and wages for some time now, but not much has come of it, barring a few smaller improvements like Uber's recently-launched driver rewards program.

As such, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has taken the matter into their own hands, successfully voting in favor of a $27.86 minimum hourly wage for drivers who work for services like Lyft and Uber. According to The Verge, after "expenses," that wage would convert to around $17.22 per hour.

Naturally, Uber and Lyft aren't exactly pleased with this development. Both companies have voiced their strong disapproval of the Commission's decision, with Uber claiming the vote will force the company to pass the new costs on to its customers.

"The TLC's implementation of the City Council's legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan's central business district," the relevant portion of their full statement reads.

Uber's Jason Post says that the Taxi and Limousine Commission's rules do not take into account existing "incentives or bonuses" that could otherwise help a driver's earnings meet the new minimum wage.

Despite these protests, Uber and Lyft's operations throughout other parts of the US will continue to operate as usual; New York City's new rules probably won't make much of a dent in either companies' global revenue. However, Uber and Lyft are likely concerned that the vote's successful passing will prompt other cities or states in the US to follow suit.

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fps4ever

TS Evangelist
I've no dog in this fight since I live in a smaller city so asking what possibly is a stupid question. Even with these price increases is using Lyft or Uber still more economical than taking a regular city taxi? Or is it just as much about the convenience and being able to get a ride whenever you need it?
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
"What, a business is actually being competitive and giving people who need extra income a way to earn more rather than merely living off the system? We'll have none of that." - New York City
 
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gamerk2

TS Maniac
"What, a business is actually being competitive and giving people who need extra income a way to earn more rather than merely living off the system? We'll have none of that." - New York City
Except that Uber and Lyft drivers were making significantly less then the NY Minimum Wage on average.

Uber and Lyft make all their profits by classifying all their employees as "independent contractors" in order to avoid paying minimum wage and benefits.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
...[ ]...Uber and Lyft make all their profits by classifying all their employees as "independent contractors" in order to avoid paying minimum wage and benefits.
An article I read, (I do so wish I had the link), suggested that Uber was forcing drivers intending to make a full time job of it, finance Lincoln Town Cars at interest rates similar to local TV/Hi-Fi/ appliance monthly rental rates.

I'm sick of arguing about Uber. I had enough of it when it was this tech crowd's darling. I said it was just another parasitic business taking advantage of other people's equipment, and service costs then, and it's finally starting to dawn on the crew here that I was right all along.
 

MasterMace

TS Booster
They should also put in escalating fines on these taxi companies that employ drivers without a taxi license. There's a difference between ride sharing and being a taxi, but Uber and Lyft employ them like taxi drivers
 
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MaXtor

TS Evangelist
Platinum
Sounds like taxis will become viable again. Where I am Uber is only slightly cheaper than a regular taxi. If they force a minimum wage they'll either be on par or even more than a regular taxi... seems to me this will push Uber and Lift to aim for self driving cars sooner rather than later. I don't agree with minimum wage, it causes inflation, the unemployment of younger less skilled workers, and with today's technology it causes companies to automate and eliminate jobs.