Minnesota Report

We are not surprised to hear about the continuing problems in compensation with drivers for Uber/Lyft, especially when that legislation was the only piece vetoed by Governor Tim Walz in 2023.

In 2019, our publisher Shawn Towle was involved with a local start-up company Corbata, which was intent on competing with Uber and Lyft in the ride share market. Corbata had a unique approach, they were offering a Transactional Interactive Exchange (TIE) as their platform, rather than a Uber/Lyft as Transportation Network Company (TNC). This meant the rider and the driver negotiated the pricing independently and not the company providing the access point.

In advance of the pandemic, California was considering legislation to require all ride sharing services that set the rates to provide a minimum wage, a benefit package including health care, insurance and additional safety concerns. This was later overturned by a statewide referendum, in which users were manipulated into believing the services would go away.

This do as we say or were leaving approach, is merely a bluff and one the state should call. Why because as soon as Uber/Lyft announce their departure, then other entrepreneurial companies like Corbata will spring into action. There are other service providers too, yes, taxicabs still exist and those in the iHail network are far more responsive than before the existence of ride sharing services. In Washington DC there are Via, Gett and Juno.

One thing worth noting is Uber is a four-letter word and so is Lyft.