The “TNC Driver Minimum Compensation Ordinance” would set “Minimum compensation standards and other labor protections for Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers” starting January 1st.
The legislation could set a minimum wage as well as include “tip protection” ensuring gratuity is passed on to drivers. It is also being lined up to regulate use of personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies in the vehicles, and require companies like Uber to be transparent in their pricing. Money will also be earmarked for a study of the minimum wage and the companies’ presence in the city.
The council’s Finance and Housing committee is set to debate and finalize the ordinance Thursday including the equation used to calculate the wage and incorporate “total time on app” for the drivers. Possible changes include a $5 floor on payment for ever ride a driver provides and a requirement for cleaning time and rest breaks in the per mile rate.
The goal, the mayor and backers say, is for drivers to be paid at least $16.39 an hour — the current minimum wage in Seattle.
The ranks of professional drivers grew sharply in recent years and the category has been the top-ranked new business created in District 3 neighborhoods including Capitol Hill and the Central District.
Uber and Lyft have pushed back on the rules as unnecessary, saying the typical Seattle driver earned $23 per hour after expenses.
The council has been looking at the minimum wage issue for drivers for years including an unsuccessful effort to shape legislation in 2018.
The latest wage push comes as part of Durkan’s “Fare Share” plan, an initiative to better regulate the driver industry in the city. Only the largest companies like Uber and Lyft are included.
Last year, the city moved forward on instituting a 57 cents per ride fee to pay for the Center City Connector streetcar, new housing, and ride-hail industry regulation that the industry also fought.
HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.