NYC Votes for Uber and Lyft Drivers To Get Minimum Wage
Photo Credit: An illuminated Lyft Inc. sign is seen on the dashboard of a ride share vehicle at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Lyft Inc. has gained significant ground on its rival, Uber Technologies Inc., and is expected to grab more market share in the U.S., according to a private Lyft investor document obtained by Bloomberg. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NYC Votes for Uber and Lyft Drivers To Get Minimum Wage

Jenna Chambers

Jenna Chambers. Dec 5, 2018.

New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission just voted to set a minimum wage for app-based drivers working for companies like Uber and Lyft. The new policy requires drivers to make $17.22 per hour— $15 minimum wage, plus paid time off —which could result in a pay raise of over $9,000 annually.

The historic decision comes from a TLC study revealing most drivers currently take home roughly $11.90 per hour after expenses. Drivers are legally independent contractors and therefore are not protected under minimum-wage laws. The new rule is set to go in effect in 20 days.

Economists developed a formula that would factor in trip mileage and time plus the percentage of time drivers have customers.

Labor non-profit Independent Drivers Guild has been organizing to increase pay for app-based drivers for the past two years.

“Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement.

Ride-hailing giant Uber released a statement noting the wage increase “will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders.” The company calls the new rule a missed opportunity to deal with congestion in New York City’s busiest business districts.

“Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC – whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber – are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit,” said Uber’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, in a statement.

Lyft expressed similar concerns telling The Verge “These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”