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Lyft, Uber to stop operating in Minneapolis on May 1 if rideshare ordinance becomes law

Minneapolis City Council passes minimum wage ordinance for rideshare drivers
Minneapolis City Council passes minimum wage ordinance for rideshare drivers 01:14

MINNEAPOLIS — Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber say they will be forced to stop operating in Minneapolis on May 1 if a minimum wage ordinance becomes law.

On Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council passed the ordinance in a 9-4 vote. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's office said he'll veto it before the end of the day, but the vote suggests the council will be able to override the veto. 

During the council meeting, members voted to amend the implementation date of the ordinance from April 1 to May 1. Lyft had previously threatened to pull out of the city on April 1. 

Earlier this week, Lyft sent emails to its drivers and users, urging them to sign a petition in opposition to the rideshare ordinance. According to the company, the ordinance would nearly double prices for rides in the city.

"More expensive rideshare prices could impact ride volume, meaning that drivers would end up earning less - even with higher pay rates," the email said.

Last week, a Minneapolis City Council committee advanced the proposal that would guarantee minimum pay for rideshare drivers — a revived effort after Frey vetoed a similar measure last summer

Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Under the plan, drivers would be paid $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute while transporting passengers and would make no less than $5 per ride. They would also keep 80% of fees for any canceled requests for service.

The proposal mirrors language that Frey vetoed last summer, but without rules about when drivers are "deactivated" or kicked off the platform because of policy violations or criminal convictions. The new ordinance would take effect May 1.

Dozens of drivers packed a recent committee hearing, telling council members how they struggle to make ends meet as gas prices and inflation have increased in recent years. Some shared screenshots of their take-home pay showing they make less than half the cost of a ride billed to customers.

Representatives for Uber and Lyft in statements to WCCO not only warned the companies would cease operations in Minneapolis, but said the ordinance could threaten services in the entire state.  

Gov. Tim Walz also vetoed a push by the state legislature for statewide pay minimums. Uber at the time said the legislation would increase costs to customers by 30%.

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