NewsHere’s what we know about Uber and Lyft’s planned exit from Minneapolis...

Here’s what we know about Uber and Lyft’s planned exit from Minneapolis in May

MINNEAPOLIS — The future of Uber and Lyft in Minneapolis has garnered concern and debate in recent weeks after the City Council voted last month to require that ride-hailing companies pay drivers a higher rate while they are within city limits.

Uber and Lyft responded by saying they would stop serving the Minneapolis area when the ordinance takes effect May 1, causing the city to weigh the ordinance it passed. The state could also take action, while riders and drivers are left wondering what could come next.

Here is what we know so far:

The Minneapolis City Council last month overrode a mayoral veto and passed an ordinance that requires ride-hailing companies to pay drivers a minimum rate of $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute — or $5 per ride, whichever is greater — excluding tips, for the time spent transporting passengers in Minneapolis.

Supporters of the ordinance said the rate would ensure that companies pay drivers the equivalent of the city’s minimum wage of $15.57 per hour.

Council Member Jamal Osman, who co-authored the ordinance, said in a statement: “Drivers are human beings with families, and they deserve dignified minimum wages like all other workers. … the Minneapolis City Council will not allow the East African community, or any community, to be exploited for cheap labor.”

Many East African immigrants in the Minneapolis area work as Uber and Lyft drivers and have advocated for the rate increase.

However, a recent study commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry found that a lower rate of $0.89 per mile and $0.49 per minute would meet the $15.57 per hour goal.

Uber and Lyft said they can support the rate from the state’s study. But if the higher rate from the Minneapolis ordinance goes into effect, the companies said they will leave the market May 1.

Josh Gold, an Uber spokesperson, said the company plans on ending its operations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Twin Cities metro area — including the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

The metro area includes more than 3 million people, which is more than half the state’s population.

CJ Macklin, a Lyft spokesperson, said Lyft will end its operations only in Minneapolis. Lyft will still service the airport, but will not pick up or drop off passengers at any Minneapolis locations.

Both companies previously pulled out of Austin, Texas, in 2016, after the city pushed for fingerprint-based background checks of drivers as a rider safety measure. The companies returned after the Texas Legislature overrode the local measure and passed a law implementing different rules statewide.

Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said he is “deeply concerned” about the possibility of Uber and Lyft leaving the Minneapolis area.

Walz said the move would have statewide impact and affect everyone who relies on the service, including people trying to get home safely from bars,

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