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This Week In Rideshare: Drivers, Prices, and Bathrooms

— October 14, 2022

Lyft lures drivers, prices come down, and lack of bathrooms. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

Choices, chances, and hold it! A lack of bathrooms? It’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.

MONDAY 10/10/22

A North Carolina group looking to form a union is gaining traction from others across the state. WRAL reported:

In an update provided to WRAL TechWire from the Steering Committee of Carolina Amazonians for Solidarity & Empowerment, or CAUSE, the group also said that Amazon may be misleading prospective workers who apply to the company’s 1,000 new Triangle area jobs announced last week, while the tech giant has said that recent wage increases as well as the average wages for the new jobs are in line with what is being paid for comparable work in the region.

“[T]he claim that the average wage of new hires will be around $19 is likely both misleading and a testament to the importance of the work CAUSE is doing,” the statement reads. “We have had some communication with other members of other warehouses, but at present our efforts are focused at RDU1 as it is a large regional hub for Amazon operations,” the steering committee added in a follow-up note to WRAL TechWire.

Yet the CAUSE Steering Committee also noted that this is “one more sign of how much Amazon is concerned about the power of its North Carolina workers uniting together, and further sign of how much CAUSE has the power to transform RDU1, and North Carolina.”

TUESDAY 10/11/22

The Labor Department is proposing a new way to view independent contractors. Bloomberg Law reported:

The proposal, released Tuesday by the US Labor Department, clarifies when workers should be classified as independent contractors who are in business for themselves, or employees who are afforded the full minimum wage, overtime, and other protections provided under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The new Biden proposal would consider those two factors and four others: investments by the worker and the employer, the degree of permanence of the working relationship, the extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business, and the degree of skill and initiative exhibited by the worker.

WEDNESDAY 10/12/22

Ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) said on Tuesday it was testing an earnings algorithm that will allow drivers in 18 U.S. cities to see destination and pay details before accepting a request.

The test follows a similar move by bigger rival Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and underlines how the companies are going the extra mile to fix driver shortages to take advantage of a demand surge brought on by a return to office and travel since the pandemic.

Lyft drivers will have access to details such as drop-off locations, estimated distance and time, as well as fare details before accepting a ride. The company plans to expand this service to more cities through 2022.

It is also investing to test filters that will allow drivers to set a preferred driving radius and give them the option to choose their ride.

THURSDAY 10/13/22

Prices for rides could soon come down. Yahoo! Finance reported:

On the supply side, inflation has caused more people to take on gig work to offset higher prices, according to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

“The supply situation continues to improve, where the number of new driver sign-ups in the U.S. were up 76% on a year-on-year basis,” Khosrowshahi said on the Q2 earnings call. “So we have a very strong flow of new drivers who are signing up, coming on to earn. And 70% — over 70% of them have said that inflation and what they’re seeing right now in terms of the cost of groceries, the cost of living plays a part in that decision for them to come on to the platform.”

In the meantime, driver utilization could also help bring down prices, Erickson said. “So effectively driving more minutes within, say, a given hour. What’s nice about that is actually the companies can allow price to come down, and that’s not necessarily a negative thing, financially, for the companies.”

FRIDAY 10/14/22

An empty toilet paper roll core on a holder in a blue-painted bathroom.
Image by m01229, via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

NYC drivers are fed up with the lack of access to bathrooms. Patch reported:

Drivers can work upward of 16 hours a day, but struggle to find clean and workable restrooms — and also legal parking near them — when nature inevitably calls, said Aziz Bah, organizing director for the Independent Drivers Guild.

“When drivers are lucky enough to find a bathroom they can use, they pull over for a few minutes, only to get a parking ticket that wipes out a day’s earnings,” Bah said in testimony to the City Council.

Bah noted Council members passed a bill that requires restaurants to let food delivery drivers use their restrooms.

But Uber and Lyft drivers don’t have that luxury and must search for public restrooms, or use a few scattered relief stands in Manhattan for taxi drivers, he said.

Drivers need the City Council’s help, he said.

LegalReader thanks our friends at LegalRideshare for permission to share this news. The original is found here.

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