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

Last-minute efforts attempt to keep Uber, Lyft in Twin Cities
Last-minute efforts attempt to keep Uber, Lyft in Twin Cities 02:46

MINNEAPOLIS — The clock is ticking for a possible end to rideshare services Uber and Lyft in the Twin Cities.

Both companies have threatened to leave after the Minneapolis City Council passed a pay raise local drivers demanded.

Rideshare services Uber and Lyft say they will pull out of the Twin Cities May 1. That is when a rate hike approved by the Minneapolis City Council goes into effect 

Councilmember Andrea Jenkins has introduced a resolution that could allow the Minneapolis City Council to reconsider its rate hike at this 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. 

Lyft has proposed a compromise rate structure. And over at the Capitol, legislators are scrambling to come up with a solution. 

The rideshare companies are fighting back with ads and a website "bringridesback," both urging the public to contact City Council members. Rideshare companies say most of their rides in this area are to places where people get groceries and other necessities, like Cub and Target. 

Among those heading up the fight to find a solution is Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who vetoed the council's controversial pay raise only to have the council override the veto. 

Mayor Jacob Frey talks future of Uber, Lyft in Minneapolis 05:24

"The City Council didn't listen," Frey said. "They didn't do the proper engagement and you have to understand that this impacts a wide swath of people, from those with disabilities to those who are blind, from people trying to get home from the bar after having a couple too many drinks to people traveling to Minneapolis for a convention or a wedding or a ball game."

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.

WCCO will be monitoring continued developments. Smaller rideshare companies have already applied for licenses to operate in the Twin Cities. And taxi services are gearing up to fill the possible void. But there is widespread concern that the effort to quickly replace these two worldwide app-based services will be extremely difficult 

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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