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Citing City Council mandate, Lyft and Uber to exit Minneapolis on May 1

(The Center Square) – Rideshare apps Uber and Lyft say they will leave Minneapolis on May 1 when a new rule will make them pay drivers more.

Uber says that Minneapolis could be the only metro area in the U.S. without Uber come May 1 when the new ordinance takes effect, including the airport.

The ordinance will requires drivers to be paid at least $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute transporting a rider, subject to annual adjustment as provided by this section, or $5, whichever is greater.

Minneapolis Ward 9 City Councilman Jason Chavez, in a post to social media, says, “Uber and Lyft pulled out all the stops to try & scare the Council into stopping this policy, but we are with the drivers because we believe in people over profits. I’m proud to have worked with my colleague and drivers to get to this point. We overrode the Mayor’s Veto (10-3).”

Josh Gold, senior director of Public Affairs at Uber, said they are “disappointed” in the override.

“We are disappointed the council chose to ignore the data and kick Uber out of the Twin Cities, putting 10,000 people out of work and leaving many stranded,” Gold said in a statement. “But we know that by working together with all stakeholders – drivers, riders and state leaders – we can achieve comprehensive statewide legislation that guarantees drivers a fair minimum wage, protects their independence and keeps rideshare affordable.”

Lyft said the bill will make rides “unaffordable,” which is why it will shut down.

“We support a minimum earning standard for drivers, which is why we recently announced a commitment where drivers will always make at least 70% of the weekly rider fares after external fees,” Lyft said in a statement. “However, this ordinance would make rides unaffordable for the majority of Minneapolis residents. The drastic drop in rides means the thousands of drivers who rely on Lyft for earnings would ultimately make less, creating an unsustainable situation for our customers.”

Lawmakers are working on legislation to compensate gig workers statewide.  

“We will continue to advocate for a statewide solution in Minnesota that balances the needs of riders and drivers and hope to return to Minneapolis as soon as possible,” Lyft said. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that all parties want gig drivers to earn more money. 

“But getting a raise doesn’t do a whole lot of good if you lose your job entirely,” Frey said. “We’ve got a whole lot of work left to do before May 1 comes and we need to be having conversations based in reality.”

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