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Minneapolis City Council to consider delaying rideshare ordinance implementation to July 1

Uber, Lyft will no longer leave Minneapolis in May, departure pushed back until July
Uber, Lyft will no longer leave Minneapolis in May, departure pushed back until July 02:02

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council will be considering delaying the implementation of the rideshare ordinance by two months.

On Wednesday, co-authors of the ordinance released a joint statement saying City Council President Elliott Payne along with Council Members Katie Cashman and Aurin Chowdhury will be bringing a motion during Thursday's meeting to delay the ordinance from May 1 to July 1.

The council members say the delayed implementation date will help support new and emerging rideshare companies.

RELATED: Minneapolis community leaders call for city council to reconsider rideshare pay hike at Thursday meeting

"Council's rideshare minimum compensation ordinance has prompted nearly a dozen new and expanding rideshare companies to prepare to launch in Minneapolis. These include businesses that are locally owned, owned by people of color, and a worker-owned co-operative," the statement said.

Uber and Lyft have said their businesses will leave the Twin Cities on May 1, when the ordinance is currently set to go into effect. However, if the ordinance were to go into effect on July 1, Uber said it would leave on July 1. The proposed delay gives the company more time to work with State leaders on a comprehensive solution, a spokesperson told WCCO.

Lyft said the ordinance "makes our operations unsustainable," while Uber said it will put drivers out of work. Uber plans to leave the entire metro area, including the airport, while Lyft has only indicated it will shut down operations in Minneapolis. 

Councilmember Andrea Jenkins previously introduced a resolution that could allow the Minneapolis City Council to reconsider its rate hike during Thursday's meeting, but it is not clear if that will happen. If no action is taken, the companies say they will make good on their threat to leave.

In Wednesday's joint statement, the co-authors said they "do not support rescinding the ordinance or support changing the rates to subminimum wage equivalents in response to corporate pressure from Uber and Lyft."

The co-authors will be proposing amendments to the ordinance with two provisions: fare transparency and data disclosure. The first would mandate that all rideshare companies provide receipts to riders and drivers detailing "how much the rider was charged, how much the driver was paid, the distance and duration of the ride, and other basic details." The second concerns data that all rideshare companies will need to report to the city on a regular basis.

MORE: Will Uber and Lyft really leave the Twin Cities? Deadline nears for rideshare wage compromise

"We are confident that these three changes — a July 1 implementation date, data disclosure, and fare transparency — will strengthen the policy and help ensure equitable outcomes for drivers and riders," the statement said.

The co-authors say they are also "excited" to continue conversations with the Minnesota Legislature on a statewide policy.

The Minneapolis City Council ordinance requires a minimum wage of $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute. Lyft says it is willing to support a state study's recommended 89 cents per mile and 49 cents per minute. 

"To be clear, we'd prefer that Uber and Lyft not leave. We would prefer that they stay and they pay workers what they're owed," said Council President Payne.

Steve Wright is the CEO of Wridz, one of several companies ready to expand into the Minneapolis area. The delay could he helpful, but wasn't necessary for his company's timeline.

"We are working diligently to be ready to have drivers up and available by May 1 we're on track for that," he said. "But I do understand some of the other companies may not be quite as far along as we are and need a little more time to get in position there."

Another factor motivating a two-month delay involves the state legislature.

"We wanted to make time for our partners at the state capitol to pass a statewide policy that's really comprehensive, that includes the disability community, (and) make sure that workers are protected across the state," said Council President Payne. Several weeks ago, he said lawmakers felt they'd be finished with a statewide policy by May 1. That estimation changed during recent conversations between the city and lawmakers, said Payne.

Besides the proposed delay, council members at Thursday's meeting will also have a chance to reconsider the initial ordinance. However, what that means remains unclear.

WCCO will continue to monitor developments.  

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