Future of Uber in Minnesota uncertain

Future of Uber in Minnesota uncertain
Future of Uber in Minnesota uncertain((AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh))
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The future of Uber, a transportation and mobility service, is uncertain in Minnesota following several months of unanswered requests to work with legislators to provide benefits to drivers without compromising service for riders.

According to a spokeswoman with Uber, the company is left with a bill that will make it impossible to continue serving most areas of the state.

The bill incudes “establishing protections for transportation network company drivers; providing a civil action; providing criminal penalties; amending Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 609.2231, subdivision 11; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181C.”

“If the bill is signed into law, beginning August 1, Uber will stop operating our rides service outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. In the metro area, we will only offer premium products to match the premium prices required by the bill.”

Freddi Goldstein, Uber spokeswoman

Uber’s market analysis shows that the cost of rides will increase by 50% at a minimum. As a result, it anticipates at least a 30% reduction in demand for trips, resulting in thousands of drivers without work.

Uber calculated that there will be at least a 10% decrease in aggregate earnings for drivers who remain on the platform.

Drivers in Minneapolis would be paid more per mile than anywhere else in the country.

Goldstein said Uber offered a compromise of $1.17 per mile and $0.34 per minute, Occupational Accident insurance coverage and codifying independent contractor status, which was ignored.

If given the opportunity, it is Uber’s goal to reach a compromise for the next session.

The bill would make rides less safe by putting the burden of proof on the victim, forcing Uber to either have victims of sexual assault testify publicly or let the driver back on the platform.

Last week, over 700 drivers and 1,000 riders emailed legislators asking them to oppose these bills.

In Minnesota, Uber trips are required to have $1.5M in liability coverage, the most in the United States, 5 times the requirements for Minneapolis taxis. Coverage that Uber maintains on behalf of drivers.

Read the full bill here.