If you decide to take an Uber ride in Seattle, you may notice that you’re being charged more this year than in the past.
The 25% fare increase is due to a new minimum wage law in the Emerald City that increased the minimum wage to $16.69 per hour for large companies beginning on January 1.
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In September, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted 9-0 to pass a Fair Pay Act, meaning ride-share drivers will get paid at least $0.56 per minute when there is a passenger in the vehicle and a per-mile rate to cover expenses.
The $0.56 number was derived from a study that found that drivers in Seattle are currently making $9.73 an hour after expenses. The new model ensures drivers earn at least Seattle’s minimum wage, $16.39, assuming they spend about 50% of their time waiting for rides or driving to pick up passengers.
“Uber and Lyft drivers in Seattle are at the forefront of a resurgence of the labor movement,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, in a press release. “It is inspiring to stand alongside Black and brown immigrant workers – those who have been excluded from the protections of 20th Century labor laws – rising up to say ‘Enough is enough – if the old laws don’t protect us and lift up the dignity of our work, we will make new ones.’”