Minneapolis City Council members revealed a plan on Tuesday that could secure a minimum wage for drivers working with popular rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft. If it passes, drivers would be entitled to a minimum of $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute, or a flat fee of $5. It’s a move that aims to ensure fair compensation for drivers.

Uber & Lyft Should Not Profit at Expense of Drivers

Council member Robin Wonsley, the lead author of the proposed ordinance, expressed her concerns. She emphasized that Uber and Lyft should not profit at the expense of drivers who face challenges covering essential expenses.

Farxan Bedel, an Uber and Lyft driver, highlighted the stark disparity between what riders are charged and what drivers receive. 

“We just want fair compensation,” Bedel said. “If you pay $50 from downtown Minneapolis to the airport, why am I getting $15? That’s unfair.”

Minimum Wage
Photo credit: Thought Catalog

Minimum Wage Ordinance Could Implement Receipts

If implemented, the ordinance also would introduce receipts, detailing the exact amount charged to the rider compared to the driver’s earnings. This transparency measure seeks to ensure transparency and accountability in the rideshare industry.

Stephen Cooper, an attorney representing the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association, explained that the current pay structure has driven over 1,300 drivers to organize and advocate for their rights. The policy takes cues from similar protective measures enacted in different cities.

The Fight For Fair Wages

Minneapolis’ move to safeguard drivers’ wages follows the rejection of a bill in May by Democratic Governor Tim Walz. It aimed to guarantee higher pay and job security for rideshare drivers across Minnesota. Governor Walz acknowledged the importance of fair wages and safe working conditions for drivers. However, he expressed reservations about the specific provisions in the bill.

Rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors. This deprives them of minimum wage protections and other benefits. It leaves them responsible for their own expenses, such as gas and car payments.

With the proposed ordinance, Minneapolis aims to lead the way in prioritizing drivers’ welfare and leveling the playing field in the rideshare industry. It is ensuring a more just and equitable environment for all parties involved.