·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


This Week In Rideshare: Locking, Waymo and California

— June 28, 2024

Uber locks out drivers, Waymo expands and Uber loses in California. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

Waymo gets into LA, drivers get locked out of Uber, and Uber strikes out in California. It’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.


Uber is locking out drivers in NYC. Yahoo! Finance reported:

Uber Technologies Inc. has begun locking New York City drivers out of its app during periods of low demand in an attempt to fight a minimum wage rule, and Lyft Inc. is threatening to do the same. As a result, some drivers say their wages have fallen by as much as 50%.

The lockouts occur unpredictably, making it difficult for drivers to plan work shifts and treat Uber as a full-time job. Sometimes these episodes can last over an hour.

An Uber spokesperson said that access to the platform is based on rider demand at any given time and place. If demand drops too far below supply, the company will temporarily shut drivers out.

Nikoloz Tsulukidze, who drives full time for Uber, said that he has been getting shut out of the app four or five times a day.


Waymo expands into LA. La-ist reported:

A regulatory board unanimously reaffirmed Waymo’s ability to operate its driverless taxi service in Los Angeles, just days after a bill that would have let local governments regulate the driverless cars stalled in the state legislature.

How L.A. officials are responding: By and large, cities and municipalities where Waymo is operating want more regulatory power over the driverless cars, and L.A. is no exception. Mayor Karen Bass has warned of potential “adverse impacts on the residents of Los Angeles” if the city doesn’t gain more oversight over the cars’ operation.

Can local agencies regulate the cars?: They don’t have very much power to do so now — driverless cars are largely regulated by the CPUC and Department of Motor Vehicles, not by local jurisdictions. A bill that would have given cities more ability to impose regulations on driverless cars was withdrawn after stalling in committee earlier this week.

Where is Waymo operating?: The company is currently operating on the Westside and Central L.A., between Santa Monica and downtown L.A. The company got the go-ahead to operate its driverless vehicles under 65 mph on freeways, but it’s still sticking to surface streets for customers for now.


Gavel and tablets on desk in courtroom; image by Daniel B Photos, via
Gavel and tablets on desk in courtroom; image by Daniel B Photos, via

Uber loses in California. NY Post reported:

A US appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by Uber, opening a new tab and subsidiary Postmates to revive a challenge to a California law that could force the companies to treat drivers as employees rather than independent contractors who are typically less expensive.

An 11-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court ruling that said Uber failed to show that the 2020 state law known as AB5 unfairly singled out app-based transportation companies while exempting other industries.

Uber in a statement on Monday said the ruling would not change the status of its relationships with its drivers, who are considered to be contractors under a 2020 ballot initiative known as Proposition 22.

Join the conversation!