New York To Give Uber And Lyft Drivers Minimum Wage Rate

An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC.
An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC.
(Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images via Mark Warner / Flickr)

It seems that the time when professional driving for either ride-hailing application is over as Uber and Lyft drivers now face the challenge of earning less than the daily minimum wage of most cities where they operate. The prevalence of Uber and Lyft services may not be solved by thinning down the number of drivers as the demand for services remains high, but it seems some local cities have realized the importance of the drivers' livelihood.

According to The Verge, New York is the first city to officially vote on increasing the minimum wage rate of drivers who work for app-based ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. Led by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the latest push to better the livelihood of Uber and Lyft drivers are expected to be implemented 20 days after the vote.

Uber and Lyft drivers can expect a minimum rate of at least $27.86 an hour or $17.22 after expenses have been taken into account. The TLC's decision will increase the yearly earning of Uber and Lyft drivers by at least $9000. This is a significant difference from Uber and Lyft drivers' current earnings which are projected to be at $11.90 per hour.

New York is not the only city currently considering the same regulations to be implemented for Uber and Lyft Drivers. According to Recode, the city of Seattle has also considered implementing a rule that could help regulate the daily living wage of Uber and Lyft drivers. The New York TLC's decision to implement such a rule could help set a precedent for other cities to follow to ensure the livelihood of their drivers.

Uber and Lyft have both released statements concerning the increase in minimum rates for their respective drivers in New York. The two ride-hailing companies mention that while they do support the opportunity for drivers to make a living wage, users will have to expect fare hikes due to proposed changes.

Uber mentions that outer borough riders may be significantly affected by the proposed changes. Lyft, on the other hand, has expressed their desire for the TLC to reconsider their decision. Via, a New York-based ride-hailing service similar to Uber and Lyft expressed support for the TLC's decision to increase the minimum rate for ride-hailing drivers.

How exactly the minimum rate adjustment for Uber and Lyft drivers will affect the fares of ride-hailing apps has yet to be officially announced. New York riders who rely on services such as Uber and Lyft will just have to wait until the implementation of the new minimum rate to see how positively or negatively the new system will affect their daily commute.  

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