Minnesota Uber and Lyft driver pay package beats deadline to win approval in Legislature

FILE - A passerby walks past a sign offering directions to an Uber and Lyft ride pickup location at an airport, Feb. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A plan to boost pay for Uber and Lyft drivers in Minnesota that lawmakers believe would prevent the companies from leaving the market advanced in the state Legislature on Sunday before the midnight deadline.

The House passed the compensation bill but the measure was held up in the Senate before winning approval prior to the deadline for lawmakers to pass bills before they adjourned. The bill now moves to Gov. Tim Walz to be signed into law, the Star Tribune reported.

The proposal that initially gained approval in the House was crafted by Democrats to replace a minimum pay measure the Minneapolis City Council passed that prompted Uber and Lyft to threaten to leave the state's biggest city.

The House agreement announced Saturday after a day of negotiations would set a minimum pay rate at $1.28 per mile and 31 cents per minute. Uber has said it will keep operating in the state under those rates. The bill would take effect in December.

“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 spokesperson Josh Gold said in an email to the Star Tribune.

Lyft representatives didn't immediately respond to emailed questions from The Associated Press about the deal.

The measure that raised objections from the companies would have required them to pay drivers at least $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute — or $5 per ride, whichever is greater — excluding tips, for the time spent transporting passengers in Minneapolis.

Marianna Brown, vice president of the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association, told the Star Tribune that even though the pay rates are lower than drivers sought, they were happy to see the deal come together.

Following passage in the House, the governor said in a post on social media platform X that the deal “gives rideshare drivers a 20% raise and keeps these important services operating in Minnesota. I’m grateful to our partners in the House and Senate DFL for coming together to get this done.”


This story has been corrected to show that the law would take effect in December, not January.