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Lyft Officially Suspends Service In California, Uber May Soon Follow
Updated 2:20 pm PST: A California court granted the companies a temporary reprieve this afternoon. This means, they now have more time to follow the original order put in place.
“We are glad that the Court of Appeals recognized the important questions raised in this case, and that access to these critical services won’t be cut off while we continue to advocate for drivers’ ability to work with the freedom they want,” said Uber spokesperson Noah Edwardsen in a statement.
An announcement came out yesterday stating that both Uber and Lyft were considering shutdowns in the state, because of an order forcing them to reclassify their drivers as employees versus contractors.
“This is not something we wanted to do, as we know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips,” Lyft wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “We’re personally reaching out to riders and drivers to share more about why this is happening, what you can do about it, and to provide some transportation alternatives.”
The order, which stems from an ongoing lawsuit, was put into place early last week and asked that both companies follow through with the reclassification within 10 days.
Both rideshare companies have since filed appeals, but so far there has been no update.
“We looked at alternative models, and the one that would work best for drivers is what we’re supporting in the [November] ballot measure — they remain independent and can work whenever they want while also receiving additional health care benefits and an earnings guarantee,” Julie Wood, spokesperson for Lyft said in a statement.
Lyft took to its blog to offer alternatives to its California riders, which included using the app to rent a car or for public transportation.
There is no word on how long the suspension will last.