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New York City Sets Minimum Wage For Uber, Lyft Drivers

New York City has become the first city in the U.S. to adopt a minimum wage for drivers of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission or TLC on Wednesday announced the passage of its landmark comprehensive Driver Income and Transparency Rules. The agency is responsible for the regulation and licensing of almost 300,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, their drivers and the businesses that operate them.

According to the new rules, "high volume" for-hire vehicle or FHV drivers will earn at a minimum a trip pay standard that is the equivalent of $27.86 per hour, or $17.22 per hour after expenses. This is the minimum wage standard for independent contractors, who pay additional payroll taxes and do not get paid time off.

The TLC said it expects the rules to significantly increase the earnings of more than 80,000 FHV drivers who work for large app companies, and also provide other important benefits for drivers across multiple sectors. The new rules will go into effect after thirty days.

The TLC noted that 96 percent of Uber, Lyft, Gett/Juno, and Via drivers in New York City will now receive an annual raise of almost $10,000 a year. These drivers previously had no earnings or minimum wage protections.

"New York City is the first city globally to recognize that the tens of thousands of men and women who are responsible for providing increasingly popular rides that begin with the touch of a screen deserve to make a livable wage and protection against companies from unilaterally reducing it. Convenience costs, and going forward, that cost will no longer be borne by the driver," said TLC Chair Meera Joshi.

Earlier this year, the TLC released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. The analysis found that 96 percent of high-volume FHV drivers earn less than $17.22 - the independent contractor equivalent of a $15 minimum wage. It also revealed that their median earnings declined more than 10 percent between 2016 and 2017.

in August, the New York City Council voted in favor of setting a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers.

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