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  • Writer's pictureGary Kelce | Aificial Politics

DFL leaders, Gov. Tim Walz say they have a deal to pay drivers more, keep Uber and Lyft operating in Minnesota after threats to exit

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Democrats in charge of the Minnesota Legislature and DFL Gov. Tim Walz late Saturday night announced they reached an agreement that would pay rideshare drivers more per ride but also keep Uber and Lyft operating in state, after the companies planned to exit this summer due to a Minneapolis ordinance. 


The rate in the deal, according to DFL House Majority Leader Jamie Long, is $1.28 per mile and $0.31 per minute, which he told reporters amounts to a 20% pay increase for drivers. It includes other protections and benefits for drivers, too. 


"We applaud the tens of thousands of riders and drivers who sent close to 100,000 emails to legislators — your voices were heard," Uber's policy director Josh Gold said. ":While the coming price increases may hurt riders and drivers alike, we will be able to continue to operate across the State under the compromise brokered by the Governor." 


Uber/Lyft drivers rally at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on Friday, May 17.

A spokesperson for Lyft did not respond to request for comment. Both companies had been working with lawmakers and lobbying for a statewide solution. 


Democrats unveiled the agreement just before 10 p.m. Saturday night in the critical final hours of the session where the fate of many policies is still uncertain because the Senate acted on just one bill before going into recess because of this negotiation.


"This is the strongest [transportation network companies] bill in the country—the protections, the insurance, the deactivation provisions and the pay," said Rep. Hodan Hassan, DFL-Minneapolis, one of the chief authors. "This is a great bill."

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