Lyft halts its operations in California

Lyft halts its operations in California

Lyft Inc is preparing today to halt its services in California, following a court order that requires it and ride-hailing rival Uber to classify their drivers as ’employees’.

The services will be halted beginning on Friday morning unless an appeals court rules at the last minute they cannot be forced to treat their drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors.

In the latest update on the company’s website Lyft said:

At 11:59PM PT today our rideshare operations in California will be suspended. This is not something we wanted to do, as we know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips. We’re personally reaching out to riders and drivers to share more about why this is happening, what you can do about it, and to provide some transportation alternatives.

Why this is happening

For multiple years, we’ve been advocating for a path to offer benefits to drivers who use the Lyft platform — including a minimum earnings guarantee and a healthcare subsidy — while maintaining the flexibility and control that independent contractors enjoy. This is something drivers have told us over and over again that they want.

Instead, what Sacramento politicians are pushing is an employment model that 4 out of 5 drivers don’t support. This change would also necessitate an overhaul of the entire business model — it’s not a switch that can be flipped overnight.

In this new model that politicians are pushing:

Passengers would experience reduced service, especially in suburban and rural areas

80% of drivers would lose work and the rest would have scheduled shifts, and capped hourly earnings.

Lower-income riders trying to make it to essential jobs and medical appointments would be faced with unaffordable prices (38% of Lyft rides in California begin or end in low-income areas that have few transit options already).

What we’re doing

We don’t want to suspend operations. We are going to keep up the fight for a benefits model that works for all drivers and our riders. We’ve spent hundreds of hours meeting with policymakers and labor leaders to craft an alternative proposal for drivers that includes a minimum earnings guarantee, mileage reimbursement, a health care subsidy, and occupational accident insurance, without the negative consequences.

What you can do

Your voice can help. A ballot measure this November, Prop 22, proposes the necessary changes to give drivers benefits and flexibility, while maintaining the rideshare model that helps you get where you need to go. We believe voters should decide. Please sign up to help today.

Thank you for being a part of the Lyft community. We will keep you updated as this situation develops.


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