Uber passengers in New York City could soon see drastic fare increases after the de Blasio administration voted to set a $17 minimum wage for all ride-sharing drivers.
The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, which regulates private transportation, adopted new rules requiring apps such as Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers minimum rates estimated at $17.22 per hour. The new wage is 15 percent higher than the city minimum of $15, which the commission said was needed to offset the additional costs workers face as independent contractors. The commission said companies like Uber and Lyft must share their success with the 80,000 drivers operating in America’s largest city.
“To reverse the trends of declining earnings and trips per driver, the rules address pay per trip as a function of both expenses and compensation,” TLC said in its new ruling. “Despite economic success of these companies, reflected in the massive growth in the number of trips in recent years from roughly 42 million trips in 2015 to nearly 159 million trips in 2017, the majority of drivers have not shared in this success.”
The new rules came at the behest of Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio, who signed legislation targeting the industry in August. TLC Chair Meera Joshi acknowledged that the policy would likely result in higher fares for riders or create longer wait times.
“I believe all New Yorkers are willing to pay a little more and wait a little longer so the people transporting them are able to provide for themselves and their families,” Joshi said in a statement to the Associated Press.