Uber and Lyft drivers in New York are on the verge of receiving a raise in their salaries. Last week, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city would raise its minimum driver pay rate for Uber and Lyft. since 2018. Both ride-hailing apps will have to pay New York drivers a minimum of $1,161 per mile and $0.529 per minute, which equates to an increase of approximately 5.3%.
It’s the first good news for temporary workers in one of the world’s most expensive cities in quite some time. NYC tour drivers spent the past a few years fighting for the right to unionize, which would allow them to negotiate better wages and benefits in the workplace. However, a union has yet to materialize, despite numerous protests.
“Uber, Lyft and Via drivers are part of the largest private sector workforce in the state. They are the anchor in many neighborhoods and are mostly immigrants of color working their way out of poverty,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a group that represents rides and taxi drivers in the city, at a . “We all know that the price of basic necessities like bread and milk has gone up, and for drivers so have operating costs like fuel and repairs. This 5.3% increase will help thousands of families find security and give many a chance to live in better conditions.”
The policy will go into effect on March 1 and will affect about 90,000 drivers in New York City, according to .
The NYC surge is the latest victory in a global effort to improve the livelihoods of gig economy drivers. Uber and Lyft are currently locked in a battle in California over its classification of drivers as “independent contractors,” a label that frees both companies from paying drivers minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Last August, a judge ruled that a California voting measure that classified hitchhikers as contracted was a decision that Uber and Lyft are appealing.
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